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Digital Forensics (1159A/21)


1. For the calendar year 2021 so far (until 1 August 2021) please provide:

a) How many digital media devices were forensically examined, or removed from a queue for forensic examination, where the device had been held in relation to any sexual offence/s

b) For each, please provide

i) The type of device (eg mobile, laptop etc)

ii) Whether it was examined, or removed from a queue/schedule for examination (or similar phrasing/action). If removed, the reason why.

iii) The duration (in days) it was held for before examination, or being removed from a queue/schedule.

iv) Whether it was examined (or due to be examined before being removed from the queue/schedule) internally or externally. If external, please provide the name of the external organisation.

v) The level and type of analysis that took place, or had been due to take place before removal.

2. a) b) i) ii) iii) iv) and v) The same for calendar year 2020

3. a) b) i) ii) iii) iv) and v) The same for calendar year 2019

4. a) b) i) ii) iii) iv) and v) The same for calendar year 2018


For removed from the queue data:


I am writing to inform you that we have searched our records and the information you requested is not held by West Midlands Police.


All devices that come into us are examined unless an officer advises us differently.

We do not record items taken out of the queue and therefore the information requested for the above is not held. Items removed from the queue would never reached examination stage.

Data for forensically examined data:

Please see attached file 1159A_21 attachment.


Questions 1A; 2A; 3A; 4A;  is answered on the attached document 1159A/21 


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.


Question 2,3,4,5, (i, ii, iii, iv, v respectively) This information is exempt from release.


We can confirm that some relevant information is held by West Midlands Police. However, we are withholding that information since it is exempt by virtue of the following:

Section 31(1)(a)(b) (Law enforcement)

This exemption and explanatory notes are shown here:

In line with the above, I am required to complete a Prejudice Test/Public Interest Test (PIT) on disclosure. Please find this PIT attached (1159A_21_PIT).

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.



1159A_21 attachment

1159A_21 PIT