1. The total number of cyberstalking incidents recorded per calendar year from 2017 to 2021. Please provide an annual breakdown. If you can get 2022 data, can we have a breakdown of the first 6 months? For clarification, if you can use the ‘online’ tag and these offences:
Controlling and coercive behaviour
2. Where possible, provide detail on each recorded incident (e.g harassment, stalking, stalking involving serious alarm/distress). For clarification, if you can give detail on offence type e.g. harassment. If you can get 2022 data, can we have a breakdown of the first 6 months? Please provide annual breakdown as per Q1
3. The number of cyberstalking incidents in which the perpetrator(s) is identified, per calendar year from 2017 to 2021. If you can get 2022 data, can we have a breakdown of the first 6 months? Please provide annual breakdown as per Q1
4. The number of individuals that have reported cyberstalking offences to your police force, per calendar year from 2017 to 2021. If you can get 2022 data, can we have a breakdown of the first 6 months? Please provide annual breakdown as per Q1
5. Please provide details relating to the outcome of the perpetrator referenced in Q3 (e.g charge, caution, fixed penalty, resolution). This information should be broken down per calendar year from 2017 to 2021 as per Q1. If you can get 2022 data, can we have a breakdown of the first 6 months?
6. Breakdown of towns and cities data for all questions. I know not all the police forces have cities so please breakdown into towns if this is the case.
7. Breakdown of age and gender for all questions.
Our data are not organised in such a way as to allow us to provide all of this information within the appropriate (cost) limit of the Freedom of Information (FOI) Act (see ‘Reason for Decision’ below).
However, although excess cost removes the force’s obligations under the Freedom of Information Act, as a gesture of goodwill I have supplied information, relative to your request, retrieved before it was realised that the fees limit would be exceeded (see attached file 954A_22_attachment.pdf). I trust this is helpful, but it does not affect our legal right to rely on the fees regulations for the remainder of the request.
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.
REASON FOR DECISION
With regard to question 4, it is not possible to determine the number of individuals who have reported ‘cyberstalking’ offences, without manually reviewing each case. During the requested period however, there were more than 45,000 offences recorded and to separately review each of these would exceed the appropriate limit (FOIA, s.12).
Similarly, with regard to question 5, it is not possible to determine this information without manually reviewing each suspect/defendant from question 3. This however would involve reviewing approximately 30,000 cases and such a search would also exceed the appropriate limit (FOIA, s.12).
This means that the cost of compliance with the whole of your request is above the amount to which we are legally required to respond, i.e. the cost of locating and retrieving the information would exceed the appropriate costs limit under section 12(1) of the FOI Act 2000. For West Midlands Police, the appropriate limit is set at £450, as prescribed by the Freedom of Information and Data Protection (Appropriate Limit and Fees) Regulations 2004, S.I. 3244.
Further information on section 12 of FOI is available here: