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Sexual offences/Incedent images committed by children (1148A/20)


Please could you provide the following for the periods October 1st 2019 to March 31st 2020 and separately April 1st 2020 to September 30th 2020:

  1. The total number of sexual offences committed against children aged under 18 that had an online element
    a) Where known, please break it down by the platform/s used to commit the offence (eg. text message, iMessage, Whatsapp, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, Kik etc.)
  1. b) Please provide the number of times an offence was recorded on each platform


  1. The total number of indecent image offences committed against children aged under 18
  1. a) Where known, please break it down by the platform/s used to commit the offence (eg. text message, iMessage, Whatsapp, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, Kik etc.)
  2. b) Please provide the number of times an offence was recorded on each platform

    If you need to do a key word search to establish the method of communication I can provide a list of platforms to search for upon request. A list of Home Office Codes can also be provided


We clarified on 3/12/2020:


To which you replied on 7/12/2020:


Thanks for getting in touch. Please find a list of platforms below:

    • Facebook/Facebook Messenger
    • Instagram
    • Whatsapp
    • Snapchat
    • iMessage
    • Telegram
    • Signal
    • Twitch
    • Online gaming
    • Kik
    • Twitter
    • Skype
    • TikTok
    • Facetime
    • Discord
    • Omegle


Here’s the list of Home Office codes:


  • 17 Indecent assault
  • 17A, 17B, 20A, 20B, Sexual assault
  • 19C, 19D, 19E, 19F, 19G, 19H, 19J, 19K Rape / attempted rape
  • 21, 22B, Sexual activity involving a child
  • 22A, 22B Causing sexual activity without consent
  • 23 Familial sexual offences
  • 70 Sexual activity with a person with a mental disorder
  • 71 Abuse of children through prostitution and pornography
  • 71 Abuse of children through sexual exploitation
  • 72 Trafficking for sexual exploitation
  • 73 Abuse of position of trust
  • 74 Gross indecency with a child
  • 88A Sexual grooming
  • 88E Exposure and voyeurism
  • 71/1 Arrange or facilitate child sexual offence
  • 71/17 Sexual communication with a child
  • 86/2 Taking, making, distributing and sharing indecent photographs of children
  • 86/10 Possession of indecent photograph of child
  • Other sexual offence / offence not listed



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. 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 find attached our response:


1148A_20 for sexual activity data

1148A_20 for indecent images data

The data in the tables for Q1A does not match the figures in the data for Q1B.  This is because in Q1A a key word search was used and as a result if the word – the platform – was stated twice for example in the operandi of the crime then it would have been counted twice. To take out all the duplications would exceed the 18 hour time frame.

Please note that these data should be interpreted with caution. Comparing numbers of incidents/crimes can be misleading and does not necessarily indicate the likelihood of someone being a victim of crime. In addition, the number of incidents/crimes recorded in an area over a period of time can be influenced by a number of factors. Consequently statistics on incidents/crimes for one period may not necessarily be a good indicator of future incidents in that area.

Question 1 and Question 2 data has been shown in a slightly different way.  The reason for this is, if we gave the Question 1 data in the same format as the Question 2 data it would exceed the 18 hour time frame given the number of offences involved.

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.

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.



1148A_20 attachment for indecent images

1148A_20 attachment for sexual offences