Dating Website Crimes (334_16)

Request

I would like the following information.

The number of crimes recorded by your force between Jan 1, 2013, and Dec 31, 2015, where at least one of the following key terms have been used i.e in the MO field of a crime report?

“Dating website”
“Internet date”
“Internet dating”
“online dating”

For each incident please provide the month/year, a brief description of the incident, including the name of the dating website, the ages/genders of those involved; and what the offence(s) was/were, and the outcome of any investigation.

Please tell me if the breakdown will take up too much time and provide the fullest breakdown you can prioritising in the following order: the offence(s); the name of the dating website involved; ages/genders of those involved; the outcome of any investigation. Please advise me on the search terms if necessary.

Response

Please find attached our response.

Please note that these data should be interpreted with caution. Comparing numbers of crimes can be misleading and does not necessarily indicate the likelihood of someone being a victim of crime. In addition, the number of incidents/crimes recorded in an area over a period of time can be influenced by a number of factors. Consequently statistics on incidents/crimes for one period may not necessarily be a good indicator of future incidents in that area.

Every effort is made to ensure that the figures presented are accurate and complete. However, it is important to note that these data have been extracted from a number of data sources used by forces for police purposes. The detail collected to respond specifically to your request is subject to the inaccuracies inherent in any large scale recording system. As a consequence, care should be taken to ensure data collection processes and their inevitable limitations are taken into account when interpreting those data.

The figures provided therefore are our best interpretation of relevance of data to your request, but you should be aware that the collation of figures for ad hoc requests may have limitations and this should be taken into account when those data are used.

If you decide to write an article / use the enclosed data we would ask you to take into consideration the factors highlighted in this document so as to not mislead members of the public or official bodies, or misrepresent the relevance of the whole or any part of this disclosed material.

As recommended as good practice by the Information Commissioner’s Office a version of this response may be published on the West Midlands Police website.

For further information and data on West Midlands Police see our publication scheme and disclosure log

http://foi.west-midlands.police.uk/

Your attention is drawn to your right to request a re-examination of your case under West Midlands Police review procedure, which can be found at:

Reviews and Appeals

Please note that such an appeal must be received within 20 working days of the date of this correspondence. Any such request received after this time will only be considered at the discretion of the FOI Unit.

If you require any further information, then please do not hesitate to contact me.

Yours sincerely,

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