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Number of arrests you made in 2019/20 regarding online sexual offences of any kind related to children (FOI: 787.2020-21)

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Request

1a) Please provide the number of arrests you made in 2019/20 regarding online sexual offences of any kind related to children.

1b) Please provide a breakdown of all the sexual offences associated with these arrests:

e.g. section 8 of SOA 2003 [insert number]; section 10 of SOA 2003 [insert number]; section 12 of SOA 2003 [insert number] section 14 of SOA 2003 [insert number]; and section 15 of SOA [insert number]; section 127 of the Communications Act 2003 [insert number].

1c) Please specify the number of these arrests that involved at least one child decoy. By ‘child decoy’ I am referring to an adult who pretends to be a child.

  1. Please provide the number of arrests you made in 2019/20 in connection with online sexual offences against children based on evidence acquired by your own officers acting as decoys.
  2. Please provide the number of arrests you made in 2019/20 in connection with online sexual offences against children based on evidence provided to you by so-called paedophile hunters.
  3. Please provide the names of all so-called paedophile hunting groups who provided information to you that led to the arrest of individuals in connection with sexual offences against children in 2019/20.

Response

Extent of Searches to Locate Information

Following receipt of your request searches were conducted within North Yorkshire Police to locate relevant information.

Decision

I am not obliged to provide you with a response to your request pursuant to Section 12(1) of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (the Act). Please note that when one part of your request falls under Section 12, we are not obliged to review the rest of the questions and the whole request is therefore exempt.

Section 12(1) applies to your request as the cost of complying with your request is above the amount to which we are legally required to respond i.e. the cost of identifying and retrieving any relevant information exceeds the ‘appropriate level’ as stated in the Freedom of Information (Appropriate Limit and Fees) Regulations 2004.

Due to the nature of our recording systems the information requested, if held, is not in an easily retrievable format. In relation to question 3, in order to determine whether or not a vigilante or paedophile hunter group had any involvement in the report, arrest or charge of an offender, we would be required to manually read through every crime for the time period requested, to see if vigilante or paedophile hunter groups were mentioned at any stage. This would involve reading through a number of reports, which would exceed the time limit allowed under the Act.

Pursuant to Section 17(5) of the Freedom of Information Act this letter acts as a Refusal Notice.

Pursuant to Section 16 of the Act I am required to offer you advice and assistance with regarding to refining your request to within the ‘appropriate limit’ (time/cost limit).  In relation to question 3, we may be able to provide information on crimes within a specified time frame where such words are recorded in the MO Summary field, however the accuracy of the results rely on an Officer recording the specific words in the field. If you wish to discuss this please do not hesitate to contact me.

Please note that systems used for recording information are not generic, nor are the procedures used locally in capturing the data.  It should be noted therefore that this force’s response to your questions should not be used for comparison purposes with any other responses you may receive.

 

Last modified: March 2, 2021