Disclosure Details

Social Network Crime - 908/12

Dated: 08 Jan 2013

Date of request:      19/11/2012

Date of response:   07/12/2012

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

Thank you for your email dated 19 November  2012 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 reports of crime involving social networking sites did your force receive since January 1 this year and November 19?

  2. How many reports of crime involving social networking sites did your force receive between January 1 and December 31 2008?

  3. The number of people charged with offences in relation to such reports for each year.

  4. Does your force have a specialist e-crime unit or similar and when was this established?

For clarity I would like to add the following:

i) Crimes involving social networking sites should be interpreted as crimes where social networks have been used in the commission of crime.
ii) I am happy for the term "social networking sites" to be limited to Facebook and Twitter

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 (for questions 1 -3) and the Crime Department (for question 4) of Northumbria Police.  I can confirm that the information you have requested is held by Northumbria Police.

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

The information provided below for questions 1 - 3 was achieved by searching for crimes which involve "Facebook" or "Twitter".  These crimes were then viewed to extract the information relevant to this request.

  1. 39

  2. 0

  3. 2008 - 0 
    2012 - 17

  4. Yes.  The Computer Crime section was established in 1998 and the Mobile Phone section in 2004, and in 2011 became the High Tech Crime Unit (HTCU).

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 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