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Online Abuse Training (894A/21)


  • Does your force provide training for officers to investigate complaints of online abuse? If yes, can you give an overview of the training given?


  • Does your force provide any internal guidance to police officers investigating cases involving communications sent via social media, other than the CPS Guidelines on prosecuting cases involving communications sent via social media? If yes, please could you provide an overview or a copy of the guidance?




By online abuse I mean:

  • Image-based abuse (Revenge Porn)
  • Cyber-harassment
  • Cyber-stalking
  • Cyber-bullying
  • Malicious or grossly offensive online comments.



Our data are not organised in such a way as to allow us to provide this information within the appropriate (cost) limit within the Freedom of Information (FOI) Act (see ‘Reason for Decision’ below).

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). 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.


Please note that researching each individual case would exceed the appropriate limit (FOIA, s.12).  In order to provide any internal guidance issued we would need to manually peruse all documents held in order to ascertain the nature of any force guidance issued, which would exceed the FOI time limit.

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.