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Child Grooming (1350_18)


  1. How many offences of Sexual Communication with a Child were recorded by your police force in England and Wales between April 2017 when the law changed, and December 31 2017?
  2.  If possible, please could you provide a breakdown of method used by groomers (eg. Snapchat) in the recorded offences of Sexual Communication with a Child during the specified period?
  3.  If possible, please could you provide a breakdown of (a) how many boys and (b) how many girls were targeted by groomers in offences recorded during the specified period?


Q2 – a keyword search of the MO notes to be conducted for crime reports related to the relevant offence (Home Office code 71/17 – Engage in sexual communication with a child) for specified mediums of communication:

  • ‘Instagram’,
  • ‘Snap Chat’, ‘Snapchat’,
  • ‘Facebook’, ‘Face book’,
  • ‘Whatsapp’, ‘Whats app’,
  • ‘Skype’,
  • ‘Twitter’,
  • ‘Matt Hancock’ [app]


Please find our response below.

Note that these data should be interpreted with caution. Comparing numbers of incidents/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.



This was a new offence added into the Sexual Offences Act 2003 by order of the Serious Crime Act 2015 and came into force on 3rd April 2017. This offence was empowered in an attempt to provide an early intervention to prevent a further escalation into more serious offences. The nature of this crime is that it often goes unreported unless discovered by an appropriate adult






Method No. of records identified
Facebook 5
Instagram 2
Snapchat 1



F M Grand Total
18 4 22