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Online Racial Abuse (1080A/21)


1) How many incidents of online Racial abuse were reported to your force between 01/01/2020 and 01/01/2021?

2) What was the self-defined ethnicity of the complainant in these reports?

3) What was the gender of the complainants in these reports?

4) How many of these reports were recorded as a crime?

5) How many complainants stated they knew the abuser?

6) How many complainants stated they did not know the abuser?

7) Please list the reason for closure of the report incidents and crimes during the date range of 01/01/2020 and 01/01/2021?

8) How many of the reports were closed with the officer in the case stating the use of anonymity techniques (e.g VPN, Proxy server, not providing true details to social media, fake accounts) as the reason for not identifying the offender?

9) How many of these reports were closed due to lack of information provided by Social media companies?

10) How many of these reports have resulted in some form of a prosecution? (e.g, caution, restorative justice or charged to court)

11) How many reports have been finalised due to the complainant withdrawing their complaint?

12) Please outline which department investigates incidents of online abuse and whether this department receives any specific training around investigating online crime.


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 locate and retrieve the answers to questions 5, 6, 7 and 8 we would need to conduct a manual search of all relevant records, which would exceed the FOI time limit.

Questions 9, 10 and 11 have been answered to the best amount of detail we have, which is the outcome description. We do not have any more information than that about why a crime as closed.

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.