I am writing to request data for the purpose of conducting research to support the development of knowledge, training and support tools for parents and schools on the subject of online safeguarding for children who engage with online chat platforms. Therefore, I require data on the following:
1. Please provide the number of recorded offences that relate to s.15A of the Sexual Offences Act 2003, Sexual Communication with a child, HO Crime Code 71/17 between April 2018 and April 2021. Please, where possible, provide the ages of the victims and offenders if known, break the data down by month and year.
2. Please provide the method of communication with the child and the App used to communicate eg. Text, Whatsapp, Facebook, Snapchat, Omegle, Kik, Discord, Twitter, Tiktok, Twitter, other chatroom etc) for all recorded offences relating to s.15A of the Sexual Offences Act 2003, sexual communication with a child, HO Crime Code 71/17 between April 2018 and April 2021. Please break the data down by month and year.
3. Please provide the Outcomes for all s.15A of the Sexual Offences Act 2003, sexual communication with a child, HO Crime Code 71/17 between April 2018 and April 2021. Please break the data down by month and year.
Disclosure with Exemptions
Full Disclosure with Section 40(2) and Section 44(1) Exemptions
Having completed enquiries within Essex Police in respect of Section 1(1)(a), Essex Police does hold information relating to your request. Under Section 1(1)(b) the below and attached have been provided in relation to your request:
The data is correct as at 07 September 2021.
Dates: 01 April 2018 to 31 March 2021.
Age of Victim/Suspect - the small data set risks being able to identify the victim/suspect, therefore, age bandings have been used. Where the age of the Victim or Suspect is unknown or has not been recorded, this has been left as Not Recorded/Unknown.
Method of Communication - determined by a keyword search on the Modus Operandi (MO) Field. Where message is used as a method of communication this is where the MO Field contains the word message or messages with no context as to what platform used. Please note that any keyword search may not be entirely accurate and any results would not necessarily answer your submission, and, therefore, could be highly inaccurate and misleading.
Essex Police will not provide any further breakdown or information as the exemptions under FOI Section 40(2) Personal Information and Section 44(1) information covered by Prohibitions on disclosure such as the Sexual Offences (amendment) act 1992 which provides anonymity to victims of sexual offences.
Every effort is made to ensure that the data provided by Essex Police is accurate and complete. However, Essex Police systems are designed primarily for the management of individual cases and not for the purposes of providing data to answer specific FOI enquiries. Please note although data can be extracted from a number of sources via database queries, the results may be subject to inaccuracies. Care should be taken to understand our return when considering the interpretation or further use of the data.
The Force Information Management Board chaired by the Deputy Chief Constable has oversight of the Force wide programme of work to improve the quality of Force data. This work has identified data quality leads in all key areas of the business including the Crime and Public Protection Command. Liaison between the Force Data Quality Team and the Crime and Public Protection Command lead for data quality will identify and resolve issues through a variety of mechanisms to ensure regular and appropriate supervisory oversight.