Cyberstalking (11533/19)

Request

May you please supply me with the following information

  • The number of cyber stalking offences recorded per financial year between 2015 – 2019.
  • Where possible may you please provide detail on each of the recorded cases i.e cyberstalking cases involving racially aggravated abuse etc
  • The number of recorded cyber stalking offences that resulted in an arrest. Please provide the figures per financial year between 2015 – 2019
  • The number of cyber stalking offences that resulted in charges / summons. Please provide the figures per financial year between 2015 – 2019

For your reference, I have attached the Crown Prosecution Service’s definition of cyberstalking:

“Harassment can take place on the internet and through the misuse of email. This is sometimes known as ‘cyberstalking’. This can include the use of social networking sites, chat rooms and other forums facilitated by technology. The internet can be used for a range of purposes relating to harassment, for example:

to locate personal information about a victim;

to communicate with the victim;

as a means of surveillance of the victim;

identity theft such as subscribing the victim to services, purchasing goods and services in their name;

damaging the reputation of the victim;

electronic sabotage such as spamming and sending viruses; or

tricking other internet users into harassing or threatening a victim.”

Response

Please be advised that the specific information that you have requested is not available in a readily retrievable format. We do not have a specific cyber stalking category/offence code to search our crimes or arrests databases for.

This means that the cost of providing you with the information is above the amount to which we are legally required to respond i.e. the cost of locating and retrieving the information exceeds the ‘appropriate level’ as stated in the Freedom of Information (Fees and Appropriate Limit) Regulations 2004.

In accordance with the Freedom of Information Act 2000, this letter acts as a Refusal Notice for this part of the request and if one part of a request exceeds the fees limit then S12 of the Act applies to the whole request.

However, in order to assist, I can advise that we can provide relevant information relating to stalking offences that are recorded on our crimes database with an ‘internet involved’ marker (see attached 11533_Attachment). Please note, our crimes database is not linked to our arrests database, therefore, we are unable to provide any relevant arrest data.

These data should be interpreted with caution; the figures provided 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.

This should not be taken as a precedent that additional information would be supplied outside of the time/fees legislation for any subsequent requests.

Attachments

11533_ATTACHMENT

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