Facebook and Twitter (583_15)

Request

I am looking to obtain information regarding social media crimes, specific to Facebook and Twitter.

I would like to know how many harassment crimes have been reported over a period of five years arising from material posted on or communicated via Twitter or Facebook. I would like this information broken down into annual data sets for years 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014.

By harassment crimes, I mean conduct which would be an alleged offence under the Protection from Harassment Act 1997 [or an offence arising from such social media material under the Malicious Communications Act 1988 or the Communications Act 2003.]

I would also like the information broken down into both gender and age of the alleged offenders and the victims, if this is possible.

If possible, I would like the age to be indicated in three categories – under 18, 18-35 and 35+, showing which of the two social media site the crime alleged was committed on.

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.

583_ATTACHMENT

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