The Freedom of Information Act allows people a right of access to all kinds of recorded data held by public authorities. The purpose is to make bodies such as the police more accountable and transparent to the general public. Since the act came into force on 1 January, 2005, we have been providing information in two ways:
- responding to any individual or organisation anywhere in the world who makes a request for information
- by routinely making disclosable material available without waiting for it to be requested
To give the public greater access to information about the workings of government and public bodies.
The Freedom of Information Act 2000 gives two related rights:
- The right to be told whether the information exists, and
- The right to receive the information (subject to exemptions).
The Individual Right of Access came into effect on 1st January 2005. Public authorities have also had to adopt and maintain a Publication Scheme. The Police Service has had such a scheme in place since 30th June 2003.
Gloucestershire Constabulary is committed to delivering an open and transparent service whenever possible and it is our intention to publish information in our Publication Scheme that the public have an interest in viewing. However, as we are committed to protecting the communities we serve, preventing and detecting crime, it must be recognised that certain information should not be disclosed. Information concerning ongoing investigations, investigative methods, Intelligence and the use of related operational techniques must be protected. They are central to the maintenance of a safe and just society.
This is recognised by certain exemptions within the FOI Act, in particular the following exemptions:
- Section 30 Investigation and proceedings conducted by public authorities
- Section 31 Law enforcement
- Section 41 Information provided in confidence.
Therefore please note that certain information concerning ongoing investigations, investigative methods, criminal intelligence and the use of related operational techniques are likely to be exempted.
If exemptions are to be used, applicants will be advised of this in their response and will be provided with details of the Public Interest and/or Harm Test where relevant.
To request information under Freedom of Information Act that is not covered in the ‘Information already available’ section above, please go to the Obtaining Information page.
Details of charges applicable can be found in the Publication Scheme here.
No, the Act is fully retrospective.
Please note that personal information pertaining to an applicant or a 3rd party will be exempted under Section 40 of the Freedom of Information Act. However, information about yourself can be requested via the Subject Access Provisions of the Data Protection Act. Please see Subject Access under the Data Protection Act section of the website.
The Information Commissioner is responsible for ensuring that all public authorities comply with the Act. A link to the Information Commissioner’s Office website can be found here: https://ico.org.uk/