Disclosure Details

Sexual Offences - 025/13

Dated: 01 Feb 2013

Date of request:   21/01/13

Date of response:  01/02/13

Provision of information held by Northumbria Police made under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (the 'Act')(FOIA)

Thank you for your email dated 8 January 2013 in which you made a request for access to certain information which may be held by Northumbria Police.

As you may be aware the purpose of the Act is to allow a general right of access to information held by a Public Authority (including the Police), subject to certain limitations and exemptions.

You asked: 

1  - How many people aged a) 12 and under b) 13-16 c) 17 and d) 18 and over were  i)  arrested  ii) charged iii) convicted of the offence of possessing indecent photographs under the Sexual Offences Act in each of the following years:

a) 2007-08, b) 2008-09, c) 2009-10, d) 2010-11, e) 2011-12

In response:

We have now had the opportunity to fully consider your request and I provide a response for your attention.

Following receipt of your request, searches were conducted with the Corporate Development Department of Northumbria Police.  I can confirm that the information you have requested is held by Northumbria Police.

I have today decided to disclose the located information to you as follows.

Searches have been made on the following Home Office codes to produce the results of this request

086/02 - Take, permit to be taken or to make distribute or publish indecent photographs or pseudo - photographs of children
086/10 - Possession of an indecent photograph or pseudo-photograph
086/15 - Possessing prohibited images of children

The below should also be noted:
Table 1.  Is a simple count of everyone arrested for any of the three offences in that period. Each person is only counted once in each year, so someone with multiple arrests or who was arrested for different offence types in the same year, will only be counted once in that year. All ages relate to the age at the time of the arrest

Table 2. is a simple count of people who were charged in the relevant period. It is not a count of the people charged who had been arrested in Table 1. Age is based on the age at the time of the disposal. Again each person is only counted once in each year, even if they have multiple charges for different offences in the same 12 month period.
It’s worth pointing out that someone could be arrested for a possession offence and charged with something else, and vice versa could be arrested for something like a sexual assault only to be charged with a possession. This means that dividing the number charged by the number arrested will not tell you the % of people arrested who went on to be charged.

Table 3.  The data from Table 2 has been used for as we have no way of searching for the dates people were convicted. The dates and ages relate to when each person was charged (from Table 2) not the actual date they were convicted. Counts have been made if persons have been specifically convicted of making/possessing photos. If there were multiple charges e.g. a sexual assault and a possession, and they were only convicted for the assault then this is not counted  in the results.

There are some case which may have  not been heard at court yet.

Please note that to avoid exemptions being applied due to low numbers, the age group 13-16 has been expanded to include information for 17year olds also.  This now reads 13-17 year olds.
With the above in mind please see the below atttached.

In addition we can neither confirm nor deny that we hold any other information with regard to an exempt body as the duty in Section 1(1)(a) of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 does not apply by virtue of the following exemption:

Section 23(5) Information Supplied by, or concerning, certain Security Bodies

Section 23 is a class based absolute exemption and there is no requirement to consider the public interest in this case.

Confirming or denying the existence of whether any other information is held would contravene the constrictions laid out within Section 23 of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 in that this stipulates a generic bar on disclosure of any information applied by, or concerning, certain Security Bodies. 

Due to the different methods of recording information across 43 forces, a specific response from one constabulary should not be seen as an indication of what information could be supplied (within cost) by another.  Systems used for recording these figures are not generic, nor are the procedures used locally in capturing the crime data.  For this reason responses between forces may differ, and should not be used for comparative purposes.

The information we have supplied to you is likely to contain intellectual property rights of Northumbria Police.  Your use of the information must be strictly in accordance with the Copyright Designs and Patents Act 1988 (as amended) or such other applicable legislation.  In particular, you must not re-use this information for any commercial purpose.

How to complain

If you are unhappy with our decision or do not consider that we have handled your request properly and we are unable to resolve this issue informally, you are entitled to make a formal complaint to us under our complaints procedure which can be found at: http://www.northumbria.police.uk/foi/disclosurelog/foicomprights.asp

If you are still unhappy after we have investigated your complaint and reported to you the outcome, you may complain directly to the Information Commissioner’s Office and request that they investigate to ascertain whether we have dealt with your request in accordance with the Act.


FOI Complaint Rights Procedure_tcm4-67103
FOI 025-13_tcm4-71238