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Paedophile hunters and online grooming

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Dear Essex Police,

1a. Please provide the number of arrests you made in 2019/20 regarding online sexual offences of any kind related to children.

1b. Please provide a breakdown of all the sexual offences associated with these arrests:

e.g. section 8 of SOA 2003 [insert number]; section 10 of SOA 2003 [insert number]; section 12 of SOA 2003 [insert number] section 14 of SOA 2003 [insert number]; and section 15 of SOA [insert number]; section 127 of the Communications Act 2003 [insert number].

1c. Please specify the number of these arrests that involved at least one child decoy. By 'child decoy' I am referring to an adult who pretends to be a child.

2. Please provide the number of arrests you made in 2019/20 in connection with online sexual offences against children based on evidence acquired by your own officers acting as decoys.

3. Please provide the number of arrests you made in 2019/20 in connection with online sexual offences against children based on evidence provided to you by so-called paedophile hunters.

4. Please provide the names of all so-called paedophile hunting groups who provided information to you that led to the arrest of individuals in connection with sexual offences against children in 2019/20.

Yours faithfully,

D Moore

J Roberts left an annotation ()

I see the article by Joe Purshouse was first published on 17th June 2020, a month before the Supreme Court handed down judgment in the case of someone caught by 'paedophile hunters' :

[2020] UKSC 32

http://www.bailii.org/uk/cases/UKSC/2020...

See comment dated 15 July 2020:

https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/p...

Story from the Independent:

"‘Paedophile hunters’ do not violate right to privacy, Supreme Court rules as convict's appeal dismissed"

https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/cr...

Two Essex men spoken to by COBRA:

https://www.bitchute.com/video/dLba1Oij7...

https://www.bitchute.com/video/aDlSUTCjJ...

Braintree man spoken to by Justice for the Innocent:

https://www.bitchute.com/video/8QkVLMFTy...

More videos can be found here:

https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1...

J Roberts left an annotation ()

Article by Joe Purshouse published on behalf of Cardiff University:

‘Paedophile Hunters’, Criminal Procedure, and Fundamental Human Rights

https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full...

Info Rights Freedom Essex, Essex Police

1 Attachment

 

 

 

Thank you for your enquiry which has been logged under the above
reference. 

 

Please note that Essex Police are actively publishing information within
our publication scheme webpage, information supplied as part of this
request could be used within the scheme.  Please click on the following
link to search details of existing publications
[1]https://www.essex.police.uk/foi-ai/af/ac....

 

Under the Freedom of Information Act we are required to reply within 20
working days.  The Act does not specify a limit to the number of
information requests a public authority may receive or the number of
requests or questions an applicant may submit.  However, there are
exemptions in the Act that can apply and these include where the cost of
complying with the request would extend beyond the reasonable cost limit,
(currently 18 hours or £450), or if the request is otherwise manifestly
unreasonable in its scope or nature. 

 

Requests that ask a great many questions, or a number of detailed requests
submitted at the same time, may make it necessary for Essex Police to
refuse the requests wholly or in part.  The exemption at Section 14 may be
engaged if the burden on the authority is increased through multiple
requests on differing subjects.

 

The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) has responsibility for
providing oversight and guidance for the legislation and they have
produced advice for applicants on submitting effective requests.  Further
information can be found on the Commissioner’s website at
[2]www.ico.gov.uk, specific information relating to submitting a request
can be found at: 
[3]https://ico.org.uk/for-the-public/offici...

 

While we process your request, please take the time to consider the ICO’s
advice and whether you feel it may be beneficial to amend or refine your
request.  Our team is happy to discuss your request with you and will be
able to provide advice as to what kind of information will be available
from Essex Police.

 

Although every effort will be made to ensure a response is provided within
statutory deadlines, due to current circumstances, delays may be
unavoidable.  We apologise for any inconvenience and will endeavour to
process your request as quickly as is practicable.

 

Please ensure all future enquiries are sent to the
[4][Essex Police request email] mailbox.

 

Kind regards

 

 

FOI Team | Information Management Department | Information Rights Section
| Essex Police

Telephone: 101 | Email: [5][Essex Police request email]

Address: Information Management Department, Information Rights Section,
Essex Police HQ, PO Box 2, Chelmsford CM2 6DA  (for Sat Nav directions,
use CM2 6DN for HQ)

 

Information Management aspires to be: Helpful, Inclusive & Professional

 

Essex Police have developed a publication strategy, our aim is to reduce
the demand within the FOI Department and to provide knowledge to the
public to include previous and combined FOI requests together with
relevant links and information.

 

Please visit this area of our website before submitting FOI requests as
information may already be available.

 

[6]https://www.essex.police.uk/foi-ai/af/ac...

Please note, if you require further information or wish to resubmit a
request please refer to the information found on the Commissioner’s
website regarding submission of effective requests:
[7]https://www.ico.org.uk/for_the_public/of...

 

Your right to complain

 

If you feel your request has not been properly handled, or you are
otherwise dissatisfied with the outcome of your request you have the right
to complain.

 

Complaints should be submitted within 20 working days from the date of
this response and should be addressed to the Senior Information Officer at
the above address or by email to: [8]info.rights.freedom@essex. police.uk

 

We will conduct a review to investigate your complaint and endeavour to
reply within 20 working days.

 

Please explain which aspect of the reply you are not satisfied with, and
if your complaint concerns the decision to apply an exemption it would
assist the review if you would outline why you believe the exemption does
not apply.

 

If you are still dissatisfied following our review, you have the right
under Section 50 of the Act to complain directly to the Information
Commissioner. Before considering your complaint, the Information
Commissioner would normally expect you to have exhausted the complaints
procedures provided by Essex Police.

 

The Information Commissioner can be contacted at: Information
Commissioner’s Office, Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow, Cheshire, SK9
5AF or via [9]https://ico.org.uk/

 

 

 

 

show quoted sections

D. Moore left an annotation ()

"'Paedophile hunter' evidence used to charge 150 suspects" (2017)

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-43...

"Strategic review of Police Scotland’s response to online child sexual abuse" (February 2020)

“Almost half of the online grooming cases emanate from the activities of online child abuse activist groups (vigilante groups), who are unregulated and untrained. A more robust proactive capability on the part of Police Scotland would reduce the opportunities for these groups to operate.” (page 5)

https://www.hmics.scot/sites/default/fil...

BBC Radio 4 programme The Untold goes on a "sting" with Leeds-based hunting group Predator Exposure:

"Six of the group went on trial accused of charges including false imprisonment and common assault. They were all found not guilty and emerged from Leeds Crown Court vowing to step up the work that they do."

https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/m000hv9p

See the group in action:

https://youtu.be/_gfRmagvltk

Useful information provided by South Yorkshire Police from the Force Disclosure Log:

https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/p...

J Roberts left an annotation ()

Radio 4's File on 4 dealt with the issue of female sex offenders in "Women Who Abuse":

https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/m000rcq5

The programme highlighted the case of a female groomer who was jailed in 2018. Details of her crime are available on the UK Database:

https://uk-database.net/2018/03/22/debor...

Thirty-six police forces responded to FOI requests (5th minute). The responses revealed that between 2015-19:

- there were over 10,400 reports of women sexually abusing children

- Over 5,400 reports concerned children aged 11-17

- around 3,800 reports involved children under 11

(some forces didn't provide information on ages)

A FOI request was also sent to the Disclosure and Barring Service. I have requested a copy of the response received:

https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/f...

"There is evidence more female abusers are being flagged when applying for jobs with children or vulnerable adults than are being reported to the police."

The programme also referred to research by Dr Andrea Darling, who wrote this article on female teachers who abuse pupils:

https://theconversation.com/understandin...

J Roberts left an annotation ()

CPS legal guidance regarding paedophile hunters (July 2020). Paedophile hunting groups are referred to formally as online child abuse activist groups (OCAGs):

'The term OCAGs in this context refers to individuals or groups of individuals who are members of the public using on-line activity to uncover or "catch" alleged paedophiles involved in on-line child sexual abuse or interested in meeting children for the purpose of such abuse. A wide range activity may fall under this umbrella term...'

https://www.cps.gov.uk/legal-guidance/on...

'Police are encouraged to seek early investigative advice (EIA) in all OCAG cases using the EIA process available in each CPS area. This will assist officers to address any complex evidential issues, to focus their investigation and to bring to an early conclusion cases which are unlikely to meet the required evidential standard.'

Recently published Home Office report titled 'Tackling Child Sexual Abuse Strategy'.

'This ground-breaking Strategy sets out the Government’s ambition to prevent, tackle and respond to all forms of child sexual abuse.

5. Our goal is to ensure there are no safe spaces online for offenders to abuse and exploit children. Across the NCA, Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ), National Cyber Force (NCF) and wider law enforcement, the Home Office will invest in the development of new technological capabilities to bring more technically sophisticated offenders to justice and help our partners identify and safeguard more victims and survivors. This includes enhancing the use of the UK’s world-leading Child Abuse Image Database (CAID).'

https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk...

Dear Info Rights Freedom Essex,

Please update me on how my request is progressing. I have no wish to contact the Commissioner unnecessarily.

In your acknowledgement you wrote:

'Thank you for your enquiry which has been logged under the above
reference.'

I can see no reference number.

Yours sincerely,

D. Moore

Info Rights Freedom Essex, Essex Police

1 Attachment

In respect of your reference number – it is set into the subject line –
FOI 15167.

 

Thank you for your patience in regard to your initial request and we
acknowledge you are awaiting a response.  We must firstly apologise for
the lack of updates from this department as the level of service provided
has been below what is expected. Our attention is focused on your request
and we shall shortly be contacting you, please rest assured that the level
of service from this department is our priority and once again please
accept our apologies for the delay you have experienced.

 

Kind regards

 

 

FOI Team | Information Management Department | Information Rights Section
| Essex Police

Telephone: 101 | Email: [1][Essex Police request email]

Address: Information Management Department, Information Rights Section,
Essex Police HQ, PO Box 2, Chelmsford CM2 6DA  (for Sat Nav directions,
use CM2 6DN for HQ)

 

Information Management aspires to be: Helpful, Inclusive & Professional

 

Essex Police have developed a publication strategy, our aim is to reduce
the demand within the FOI Department and to provide knowledge to the
public to include previous and combined FOI requests together with
relevant links and information.

 

Please visit this area of our website before submitting FOI requests as
information may already be available.

 

[2]https://www.essex.police.uk/foi-ai/af/ac...

Please note, if you require further information or wish to resubmit a
request please refer to the information found on the Commissioner’s
website regarding submission of effective requests:
[3]https://www.ico.org.uk/for_the_public/of...

 

Your right to complain

 

If you feel your request has not been properly handled, or you are
otherwise dissatisfied with the outcome of your request you have the right
to complain.

 

Complaints should be submitted within 20 working days from the date of
this response and should be addressed to the Senior Information Officer at
the above address or by email to: [4]info.rights.freedom@essex. police.uk

 

We will conduct a review to investigate your complaint and endeavour to
reply within 20 working days.

 

Please explain which aspect of the reply you are not satisfied with, and
if your complaint concerns the decision to apply an exemption it would
assist the review if you would outline why you believe the exemption does
not apply.

 

If you are still dissatisfied following our review, you have the right
under Section 50 of the Act to complain directly to the Information
Commissioner. Before considering your complaint, the Information
Commissioner would normally expect you to have exhausted the complaints
procedures provided by Essex Police.

 

The Information Commissioner can be contacted at: Information
Commissioner’s Office, Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow, Cheshire, SK9
5AF or via [5]https://ico.org.uk/

 

 

show quoted sections

Info Rights Freedom Essex, Essex Police

2 Attachments

Please accept our apologies in respect of the delay you have experienced
in respect of this FOI response.

 

Thank you for your enquiry which has been logged under the above
reference.

 

Section 1 of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (FOIA) places two duties
on public authorities.  Unless exemptions apply, the first duty at Section
1(1)(a) is to confirm or deny whether the information specified in a
request is held.  The second duty at Section 1(1)(b) is to disclose
information that has been confirmed as being held.  Where exemptions are
relied upon Section 17 of FOIA requires that we provide the applicant with
a notice which: a) states that fact b) specifies the exemption(s) in
question and c) states (if that would not otherwise be apparent) why the
exemption applies.

 

In respect of your enquiry:

 

1a. Please provide the number of arrests you made in 2019/20 regarding
online sexual offences of any kind related to children.

1b. Please provide a breakdown of all the sexual offences associated with
these arrests:

e.g. section 8 of SOA 2003 [insert number]; section 10 of SOA 2003 [insert
number]; section 12 of SOA 2003 [insert number] section 14 of SOA 2003
[insert number]; and section 15 of SOA [insert number]; section 127 of the
Communications Act 2003 [insert number].

1c. Please specify the number of these arrests that involved at least one
child decoy. By 'child decoy' I am referring to an adult who pretends to
be a child.

2. Please provide the number of arrests you made in 2019/20 in connection
with online sexual offences against children based on evidence acquired by
your own officers acting as decoys.

3. Please provide the number of arrests you made in 2019/20 in connection
with online sexual offences against children based on evidence provided to
you by so-called paedophile hunters.

4. Please provide the names of all so-called paedophile hunting groups who
provided information to you that led to the arrest of individuals in
connection with sexual offences against children in 2019/20.

 

 

 

Having completed enquiries within Essex Police in respect of Section
1(1)(a), Essex Police does hold information relating to your request
please see the following information in relation to Question 1a, 1b and 3

FOI 15167 Paedophile Hunters and Online Grooming
Arrests
TABLE ONE: Number of arrests made in 2019/20
regarding online sexual offences relating to
children
OFFENCE DESCRIPTION (21, 22B and 88A) CALENDER YEAR RECORDED
2019 2020 Grand Total
Grand Total 102 94 196
TABLE TWO: Breakdown of the arrests made in 2019/20
regarding sexual offences relating to children
OFFENCE DESCRIPTION (21, 22B and 88A) CALENDER YEAR RECORDED
2019 2020 Grand Total
Attempted - Causing or inciting a child under 13 to
engage in sexual activity: Female child -
penetration - 1 1
Attempted - Causing or inciting a female child
under 16 to engage in sexual activity by
Penetration - Offender 18 or over - 1 1
Attempted - Causing or inciting a female child
under 16 to engage in sexual activity by
Penetration - Offender Under 18 - 1 1
Attempted - Causing or inciting a female child
under 16 to engage in sexual activity No
Penetration - Offender 18 or over 1 - 1
Attempted - Causing or inciting a male child under
16 to engage in sexual activity No Penetration -
Offender 18 or over 2 - 2
Attempted - Engage in sexual communication with a
child 8 6 14
Attempted - Meeting a female child following sexual
grooming etc (Offender is aged 18 or over and
victim is under 16) 6 3 9
Causing or inciting a child under 13 to engage in
sexual activity: Female child  no penetration 13 8 21
Causing or inciting a child under 13 to engage in
sexual activity: Male child  no penetration 2 3 5
Causing or inciting a child under 13 to engage in
sexual activity: Male child - penetration 2 - 2
Causing or inciting a female child under 16 to
engage in sexual activity by Penetration - Offender
18 or over 4 4 8
Causing or inciting a female child under 16 to
engage in sexual activity No Penetration - Offender
18 or over 16 13 29
Causing or inciting a female child under 16 to
engage in sexual activity No Penetration - Offender
Under 18 2 3 5
Causing or inciting a male child under 16 to engage
in sexual activity by Penetration - Offender 18 or
over - 1 1
Causing or inciting a male child under 16 to engage
in sexual activity No Penetration - Offender 18 or
over 2 6 8
Engage in sexual communication with a child 38 41 79
Meeting a female child following sexual grooming
etc (Offender is aged 18 or over and victim is
under 16) 5 2 7
Meeting a male child following sexual grooming etc
(Offender is 18 or over and victim is under 16) 1 1 2
Grand Total 102 94 196
TABLE THREE: Persons arrested where evidence was
supplied by Paedophile Hunters
CALENDER YEAR RECORDED
2019 2020 Grand Total
Number of Persons charged where evidence by
Paedophile Hunters supplied 3 1 4
Where a person has been arrested based on evidence
from Paedophile Hunters this has been determined
where the crime report MO
clearly shows a Paedophile Hunter Group as
involved.

 

Caveat: Paedophile Hunter offences searched for on Initial MO. If the
terms “Hunter”, “OCAG”, Vigilante” and “Online Child Abuse Group” do not
appear in the Initial MO then these offences may not appear in the search.

 

Essex Police follow NPCC guidance in relation to OCAGs and engagement with
them.

In respect of Question 1c, 2 & 4 Essex Police  neither confirms nor denies
that it holds information relevant to this request by virtue of the
following exemptions.

Section 23(5) Information supplied by or concerning certain Security
Bodies;

Section 31(3) Law Enforcement

Section 40(5) Personal Information

 

Section 23 & 40 are class based absolute exemptions and there is no
requirement to consider the public interest in this case.

 

Confirming or denying the existence of whether child or police decoys were
used would contravene the constrictions laid out within Section 23 of the
Freedom of Information Act 2000 in that this stipulates a generic bar on
disclosure of any information supplied by, or concerning, certain Security
Bodies.

 

Section 40(5A)&(5B)(a)(i) of the Act provides:

 

(5A)The duty to confirm or deny does not arise in relation to information
which is (or if it were held by the public authority would be) exempt
information by virtue of subsection (1).

(5B) The duty to confirm or deny does not arise in relation to other
information if or to the extent that any of the following applies—

(a) giving a member of the public the confirmation or denial that would
have to be given to comply with section 1(1)(a)—

(i) would (apart from this Act) contravene any of the data protection
principles

 

[1]http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2018...

 

Section 40 of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 is designed to address
information that is covered by the Data Protection Act 2018.

Under section 40(5), Essex Police is not required to comply with the
requirements of section 1(1) (a) i.e. the duty to inform the applicant
whether or not the information is held.

 

In most cases Personal Data is exempt from disclosure under the Freedom of
Information Act as I will explain below.

 

To confirm or deny whether personal information exists could publicly
reveal information about an identifiable individual or individuals,
thereby breaching the right to privacy afforded to persons under the Data
Protection Act (DPA) and the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)
2018.

 

Where an individual is requesting his or her own personal data the
information is always exempt. Such information can be requested under
other legislation.

Where an individual is requesting third party personal data Essex Police
must ensure that any action taken adheres to the principles of the Data
Protection Act 2018 and the GDPR. To clarify, the Freedom of Information
Act only allows disclosure of personal data if that disclosure would be
compliant with the principles for processing personal data. These
principles are outlined under section 34 of the DPA 2018 and under Article
5 of the GDPR.

 

Section 31 is prejudice based and qualified and there is a requirement to
articulate the harm that would be caused in confirming or not whether
information is held as well as carrying out a public interest test.

 

Harm

 

As you may be aware, disclosure under FOIA is a release to the public at
large. Whilst not questioning the motives of the applicant, confirming or
denying that any information is held by forces would show areas of police
vulnerability. The public expect police forces and other law enforcement
agencies to use all powers and tactics available to prevent and detect
crime or disorder and maintain public safety. Law enforcement tactics
would be compromised which would hinder the prevention or detection of
crime if the level of use of such tactics were openly discussed. This
would impact on police resources, more crime would then be committed and
individuals placed at risk.

 

Factors favouring confirmation or denial for S31

 

By confirming or denying whether any relevant information is held, would
allow the public to gain a greater understanding of where public funds are
being spent. Better public awareness may lead to more information from the
public.

 

Factors against confirmation or denial for S31

 

Confirming or denying whether any information is held in relation to this
request at this time would not be in the public interest and has potential
to undermine any ongoing investigation. This would ultimately hinder the
prevention and detection of crime.

 

The public entrust Essex Police  to handle information they provide
appropriately and in line with legislative guidelines, e.g. Data
Protection Act. To reveal detail of whether or not such information is
known to the Constabulary would act as a deterrent to the public to
provide information to the force and also hinder the prevention or
detection of crime.

 

Police forces rely on information being supplied by the public.
Irrespective of whether information pertinent to questions 1c 2 is or
isn’t held, by applying substantive exemptions would indicate that
information is held and is currently being investigated. Such action would
act as a deterrent to the public to provide intelligence to the force
which would further undermine public safety, with repercussions that could
hinder the prevention or detection of crime.

 

Balance

 

The points above highlight the merits of confirming or denying whether
information pertinent to this request exists. The Police Service is
charged with enforcing the law, preventing and detecting crime and
protecting the communities we serve.

 

The Police Service will not divulge whether information is or is not held
if to do so would place the safety of an individual at risk. Whilst there
is a public interest in the transparency of policing operations and
investigations, providing assurance that the Police Service is
appropriately and effectively engaging with the threat from criminals,
there is a very strong public interest in safeguarding the integrity of
police operations when delivering effective operational law enforcement to
ensure the prevention and detection of crime is carried out and the
effective apprehension or prosecution of offenders is maintained.

 

At this moment in time, it is our opinion that for these issues the
balance test favours neither confirming nor denying that information
exists.

 

Of course no inference can be drawn from these facts that any information
does or does not exist.

 

 

 

FOI Team | Information Management Department | Information Rights Section
| Essex Police

Email: [2][Essex Police request email]

Address: Information Management Department, Information Rights Section,
Essex Police HQ, PO Box 2, Chelmsford CM2 6DA  (for Sat Nav directions,
use CM2 6DN for HQ)

Information Management aspires to be: Helpful, Inclusive & Professional

Essex Police have developed a publication strategy, our aim is to reduce
the demand within the FOI department and to provide knowledge to the
public to include previous and combined FOI requests together with
relevant links and information.

Please visit this area of our website before submitting FOI requests as
information may already be available.

https://www.essex.police.uk/foi-ai/af/ac...

 

 

 

Please note, if you require further information or wish to resubmit a
request please refer to the information found on the Commissioner’s
website regarding submission of effective requests: 
[3]https://www.ico.org.uk/for_the_public/of...

 

Your right to complain

If you feel your request has not been properly handled, or you are
otherwise dissatisfied with the outcome of your request you have the right
to complain.

 

Complaints should be submitted within 20 working days from the date of
this response and should be addressed to the Senior Information Officer at
the above address or by email to:  [4][Essex Police request email]

 

We will conduct a review to investigate your complaint and endeavour to
reply within 20 working days.

 

Please explain which aspect of the reply you are not satisfied with, and
if your complaint concerns the decision to apply an exemption it would
assist the review if you would outline why you believe the exemption does
not apply.      

 

If you are still dissatisfied following our review, you have the right
under Section 50 of the Act to complain directly to the Information
Commissioner.  Before considering your complaint, the Information
Commissioner would normally expect you to have exhausted the complaints
procedures provided by Essex Police.

 

The Information Commissioner can be contacted at:  Information
Commissioner’s Office, Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow, Cheshire, SK9
5AF or via [5]https://ico.org.uk/.

 

 

From: Info Rights Freedom Essex <[Essex Police request email]>
Sent: 04 January 2021 10:26
To: D. Moore <[FOI #715313 email]>
Subject: FOI 15167 Paedophile Hunters and Online Grooming

 

Thank you for your enquiry which has been logged under the above
reference.

Please note that Essex Police are actively publishing information within
our publication scheme webpage, information supplied as part of this
request could be used within the scheme. Please click on the following
link to search details of existing publications
[6]https://www.essex.police.uk/foi-ai/af/ac....

Under the Freedom of Information Act we are required to reply within 20
working days. The Act does not specify a limit to the number of
information requests a public authority may receive or the number of
requests or questions an applicant may submit. However, there are
exemptions in the Act that can apply and these include where the cost of
complying with the request would extend beyond the reasonable cost limit,
(currently 18 hours or £450), or if the request is otherwise manifestly
unreasonable in its scope or nature.

Requests that ask a great many questions, or a number of detailed requests
submitted at the same time, may make it necessary for Essex Police to
refuse the requests wholly or in part. The exemption at Section 14 may be
engaged if the burden on the authority is increased through multiple
requests on differing subjects.

The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) has responsibility for
providing oversight and guidance for the legislation and they have
produced advice for applicants on submitting effective requests. Further
information can be found on the Commissioner’s website at
[7]www.ico.gov.uk, specific information relating to submitting a request
can be found at:
[8]https://ico.org.uk/for-the-public/offici...

While we process your request, please take the time to consider the ICO’s
advice and whether you feel it may be beneficial to amend or refine your
request. Our team is happy to discuss your request with you and will be
able to provide advice as to what kind of information will be available
from Essex Police.

Although every effort will be made to ensure a response is provided within
statutory deadlines, due to current circumstances, delays may be
unavoidable. We apologise for any inconvenience and will endeavour to
process your request as quickly as is practicable.

Please ensure all future enquiries are sent to the
[9][Essex Police request email] mailbox.

Kind regards

FOI Team | Information Management Department | Information Rights Section
| Essex Police

Telephone: 101 | Email: [10][Essex Police request email]

Address: Information Management Department, Information Rights Section,
Essex Police HQ, PO Box 2, Chelmsford CM2 6DA (for Sat Nav directions, use
CM2 6DN for HQ)

Information Management aspires to be: Helpful, Inclusive & Professional

Essex Police have developed a publication strategy, our aim is to reduce
the demand within the FOI Department and to provide knowledge to the
public to include previous and combined FOI requests together with
relevant links and information.

Please visit this area of our website before submitting FOI requests as
information may already be available.

[11]https://www.essex.police.uk/foi-ai/af/ac...

Please note, if you require further information or wish to resubmit a
request please refer to the information found on the Commissioner’s
website regarding submission of effective requests:
[12]https://www.ico.org.uk/for_the_public/of...

Your right to complain

If you feel your request has not been properly handled, or you are
otherwise dissatisfied with the outcome of your request you have the right
to complain.

Complaints should be submitted within 20 working days from the date of
this response and should be addressed to the Senior Information Officer at
the above address or by email to: [13]info.rights.freedom@essex. police.uk

We will conduct a review to investigate your complaint and endeavour to
reply within 20 working days.

Please explain which aspect of the reply you are not satisfied with, and
if your complaint concerns the decision to apply an exemption it would
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show quoted sections

Dear Info Rights Freedom Essex,

FOI 15167

Thank you for your response. Unfortunately, I am unable to read it properly. Could you please resend it as an attachment that I can download?

Yours sincerely,

D. Moore

D. Moore left an annotation ()

Useful information:

Home Office counting rules - sexual offences (effective from April 2021)

'Sexual grooming

General Rule: One crime for each child.

Examples

1: A 60 year old male posted photographs of his teenage son on internet chat rooms and posed as his son. Following frequent internet chats with two 13 year old girls he encouraged them to travel to a London Station to meet him for sex.
Two crimes (class 88/1-88A).

2: A sports coach arranges for his 14 year old star pupil to meet up for a winter training week in Spain with him. He is arrested at Heathrow in possession of condoms and lubricants which he admits were for a sexual use on his star pupil.

One crime (class 88/1 –88A

'Principal Crime Example: see General Rules Section F and Annex C.

If a person has sexual activity with a child following grooming, record the substantive sexual offence only. A 40 year old male posted photographs of his teenage son on internet chat rooms and posed as his son. Following frequent internet chats with two 13 year old girls he encouraged them to travel to a London Station to meet him for sex. He has sexual intercourse with one of them and is arrested meeting the other girl.

One crime (class22/12 -22B) and one crime (class 88/1 -88A).'

https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk...

BBC News (13/5/21)

'The body overseeing criminal sentences in England and Wales is proposing treating paedophiles who are caught in stings the same as abusers who harm real children.'

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-57095465

Impact Assessment, The Home Office
Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill

Sex offender management (g/h pages 6-7/16-19/24-25/31-34/49-59/75-76/80)

Information on polygraphs (49)

'Government intervention is necessary to address this gap in criminal law and ensure that those that arrange or facilitate child sex offences targeting children under the age of 13 are sentenced considering the additional vulnerability of the intended victims.'

https://publications.parliament.uk/pa/bi...

J Roberts left an annotation ()

You may be interested in this:

'National Police Chiefs’ Council Responding to Online Child Abuse Activists

2.2 Analysis of incidents of activism has revealed a mixed picture. Some activist groups have amended their mode of operation such that they pass packages of information to the police without having real world contact with the person suspected of offending behaviour. Whilst this is a positive development many groups continue to insist on carrying out a physical intervention and only notify the police post or concurrent to the event. This is less desirable for reasons that have been previously articulated. There is an increased prevalence of direct criminality where purported activists have no intention to notify the police but use the opportunity of an encounter to extort or rob.

2.3 The complex, nuanced and often overlapping nature of activism and volunteering make it difficult to be prescriptive as to the approach to be taken. It is not legally practicable for policing to develop memoranda of understanding or protocol of operation with activists without risking claims of abuse of process. Where the state is seen to circumvent statutory regulation by sub-contracting work to public volunteers it is highly likely that criminal prosecution will be stayed.'

https://www.npcc.police.uk/2019%20FOI/NP...

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