Freedom of Information

Introduction

The Freedom of Information Act was fully implemented on January 1, 2005 and covers all information held by public authorities. The purpose of the Act is to make bodies such as the Police Service more accountable to those that fund them and to make public authorities more transparent to members of the general public. 

The Freedom of Information Act provides two main instruments through which the release of information is achieved:

  •  Creating and maintaining a publication scheme. The purpose of this is to make available a significant proportion of disclosable information routinely available and accessible without waiting for it to be requested. Wherever possible this information will be available on the Constabulary Website, free of charge.
  •  Providing a general right of access to all types of recorded information held by public authorities. Under the terms of the Act, public authorities are required to respond (subject to a range of exemptions) to any individual or organisation anywhere in the World who makes an individual Request for Information

For further information on exercising these tools, please see the Obtaining Information Section.

Personal Information

The Freedom of Information legislation cannot be used to obtain information for use in an Immigration Application/Criminal Record check or to request a record of an incident personal to you. The provision of this type of information is provided within the Subject Access provisions of the Data Protection Act.

Please note that where the constabulary receives a request for information under FOI that relates to personal data of which the applicant is the subject, a ‘Neither Confirm Nor Deny’ response will be issued and the request will be passed to the Data Protection Team.

Some Useful Links

Please note the links in this section may take you to an external website. Gloucestershire Constabulary cannot accept any responsibility for the content of any website other than our own.

As a large organisation we often use abbreviations. In order to assist in interpreting some of these Police terms and acronyms, please see our explanatory abbreviation list.

The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) is the UK’s independent authority set up to uphold information rights in the public interest, promoting openness by public bodies and data privacy for individuals. 

The Home Office is the lead government department for immigration and passports, drugs policy, counter-terrorism and police.

The Ministry of Justice are responsible for freedom of information policy in the UK. 

The Campaign for Freedom of Information is a non-profit organisation working to improve public access to official information and ensure that the Freedom of Information Act is implemented effectively. 

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