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Crimes where Tinder/Grinder are mentioned

Question

For the years between (And including) 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015 and current figures for 2016, I request the following information: The number of reports to police of an alleged crime where 'Tinder' and 'Grindr' were named in the log.

 

I ask for the information to be broken down yearly into the numbers of crimes, brief description of crime, gender of victim, age of victim and outcome of the crime.

Answer

We have identified 35 reports where ‘Tinder’ or ‘Grindr’ were mentioned in the modus operandi (MO). No information was identified for 2012.

Please see the requested breakdown below. Any cases that are still under investigation have not been included.

Year

 

Offence Category

Victim Age

Victim Gender

Outcome

2013

1

Violence against the person

27

Male

Undetected

 

2

Violence against the person

28

Male

Undetected

 

3

Other offence

20

Male

undetected

2014

4

Other offence

14

Female

Charged

 

5

Other offence

15

Female

Undetected

 

6

Violence against the person

23

Female

Restorative Justice

 

7

Other offences

25

Male

Undetected

 

8

Violence against the person

27

Male

NFA

 

9

Violence against the person

40

Male

Undetected

 

10

Violence against the person

47

Male

NFA

 

11

Other offences

49

Male

undetected

2015

12

Violence against the person

15

Male

Undetected

 

13

Other offence

15

Female

Undetected

 

14

Other offence

16

Female

Undetected

 

15

Other offence

21

Female

Undetected

 

16

Other offence

*

*

Undetected

 

17

Other offence

*

*

Undetected

 

18

Violence against the person

*

Male

Undetected

 

19

Violence against the person

*

Female

NFA

 

20

Violence against the person

20

Female

NFA

 

21

Violence against the person

23

Male

NFA

 

22

Violence against the person

26

Female

NFA

 

23

Violence against the person

26

Male

NFA

 

24

Violence against the person

36

Male

NFA

 

25

Violence against the person

37

Male

NFA

 

26

Violence against the person

45

Male

NFA

 

27

Other Offences

23

Male

Undetected

 

28

Crime related incident

*

*

Undetected

 

29

Burglary

25

Male

No Crime

 

30

Burglary

35

Male

NFA

 

31

Fraud Forgery

31

Female

Undetected

2016

32

Other offence

12

Female

NFA

 

33

Violence against the person

20

Female

NFA

 

34

Violence against the person

28

Female

NFA

 

35

Other offence

17

Female

Transferred

* You will note there are some blank spaces in the table above. This is due to the information not being centrally recorded.

In addition, Avon and Somerset Constabulary can neither confirm nor deny that it holds any further information with regard to an exempt body as the duty in section 1(1)(a) of the freedom of information act 2000 does not apply by virtue of the following exemption:

Section 23(5) Information supplied by of concerning certain security bodies.

Section 30(3) Investigations and proceedings

Section 31(3) Law enforcement 

Section 23 is a class based absolute exemption and there is no requirement to consider the public interest in this case. Confirming or denying the existence of whether information is held would contravene the constrictions laid out with section 23 of the Freedom of information act 2000 in that this stipulates a generic bar on disclosure of any information applied by, or concerning, certain security bodies.

Section 30 is a class based qualified exemption.  There is a requirement to consider the public interest to ensure neither confirming nor denying that information is held is appropriate.

Section 31 is a prejudice based qualified exemption which means the evidence of harm ‘prejudice’ needs to be evidenced and the public interest considered to ensure neither confirming nor denying information is held is appropriate.

Overall harm for partial NCND

The prevention and detection of crime is the foundation upon which policing is built and the police have a clear responsibility to prevent crime and arrest those responsible for committing crime or those that plan to commit crime. To do this the police require evidence and that evidence can come from a number of sources, some of which is obtained through covert means. Having obtained sufficient evidence offenders are charged with offences and placed before the courts. By confirming or denying that any other information pertinent to this request exists could directly influence the stages of that process, and jeopardise current investigations or prejudice law enforcement.

Any information identifying the focus of policing activity could be used to the advantage of offenders.  Information that undermines the operational integrity of these activities will adversely affect public safety and have a negative impact on law enforcement.

Factors favouring confirmation or denial for S31 - By confirming or denying when or how the police service monitor social network sites, would enable the public to see where public funds are being spent. Better public awareness may reduce crime or lead to more information from the public.

Factors against confirmation or denial for S31 - By confirming or denying that any other information relevant to the request exists, law enforcement tactics could be compromised which could hinder the prevention and detection of crime. More crime could be committed and individuals placed at risk.

Factors favouring confirmation or denial for S30 - By confirming or denying when or how the police service monitor social network sites, would enable the public to obtain satisfaction that all investigations are conducted properly and that their public money is well spent.

Factors against confirmation or denial for S30 - By confirming or denying that any other information relevant to the request exists, would hinder the prevention or detection of crime, undermine the partnership approach to law enforcement , which would subsequently affect the force's future law enforcement capabilities.

Balance test -  Whilst there is a public interest in the transparency of investigations and in this case providing assurance that the police service is appropriately and effectively engaging with the threat posed by offenders using social media, there is a very strong public interest the integrity of police investigations and operations in this area. 

As much as there is public interest in knowing that policing activity is appropriate and balanced in this type of matter, this will only be overridden in exceptional circumstances. Therefore it is our opinion that for these issues the balancing test for confirming or denying whether any other information relevant to your request exists is not made out.

There is also no requirement to satisfy any public concern over the legality of police operations and the tactics we may or may not use. The force is already held to account by statute, for example the Police and Criminal Evidence Act and the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act and independent bodies such as Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary and the Independent Police Complaints Commission. Our accountability is therefore not enhanced by confirming or denying that any other information is held.

None of the above can be viewed as an inference that any other information does or does not exist.

FOI Ref: 703/16

Date of Request: 11.05.16