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Freedom of Information Act - Police


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I know a few people have asked on various sites, Can you S.A.R - (Subject Access Request) the Police?


So I have detailed Greater Manchester Police Freedom of Information Policy.

Most other forces will operate similar to this:


Freedom of Information


Right of access

The Freedom of Information Act 2000 gives a general right of access to all types of recorded information held by public authorities, sets out exemptions from that right and places a number of obligations on public authorities. Any person who makes a request to a public authority for information must be informed whether the public authority holds that information and, subject to exemptions, supplied with that information.

Individuals already have the right of access to information about themselves under the Data Protection Act 1998. As far as public authorities are concerned, the Freedom of Information Act will extend this right to allow public access to all types of information held. This individual right of access to information came into effect on 1st January 2005.

Public authorities are required to adopt and maintain a publication scheme setting out the classes of information they hold, the manner in which they intend to publish the information, and whether a charge will be made for the information. The purpose of a scheme is to ensure a significant amount of information is available, without the need for a specific request. Schemes are intended to encourage organisations to publish more information pro-actively and to develop a greater culture of openness.

The Act is enforced by the Information Commissioner (the "Commissioner"), a post that combines regulation of both the Freedom of Information and Data Protection Acts. More information about the role of the Information Commissioner can be found at http://www.ico.gov.uk/eventual.aspx


Legal Framework


What is the legal framework for a publication scheme?

Their purpose is to be a means by which a public authority can make a significant amount of information available routinely, without waiting for someone to specifically request it.

Section 19(2) of the Act sets out the requirements for a publication scheme as follows:

  1. Specify classes of information that the public authority publishes or intends to publish;
  2. specify the manner in which information of each class is, or is intended to be, published; and,
  3. specify whether the material is, or is intended to be, available to the public free of charge or on payment.Section 19(3) states that "in adopting or reviewing a publication scheme, a public authority shall have regard to the public interest in allowing public access to information held by the authority and in the publication of reasons for decisions made by the public authority".

  1. Section 19(1) provides that it shall be the duty of every public authority to adopt and maintain a publication scheme, to publish information in accordance with its scheme and, from time to time, to review its publication scheme.
    Individual Rights of Access
    Types of information
    Individuals already have the right of access to information about them ('personal data') which is held on computer, and in some paper files, under the Data Protection Act 1998 (see next page). As far as public authorities are concerned, Freedom of Information will extend this right to allow access to all the types of information held, whether personal or non-personal.
    This right came into effect in January 2005.
    The Act does, however, set out some exemptions to this right and it also places a number of obligations on public authorities about the way in which they provide information. Subject to the exemptions anyone making a request has the right to be told whether information exists and the right to receive the information. In general, a response must be provided promptly within 20 working days.
    There is also a duty on public authorities to provide advice or assistance to anyone seeking information (for example in order to explain what is readily available or to clarify what is wanted).
    To see what information is available on our publication scheme please go to 'Classes of Information'.
    If the information you require is not available on this site please make a request, details are given on the 'how to obtain information' page'.
    Data Protection
    It gives individuals certain rights. It also says those who record and use personal information must be open about how the information is used and must follow the eight principles of 'good information handling'.
    Anyone processing personal data must comply with the eight enforceable principles of good practice. They say that data must be:
  2. Processed fairly and lawfully
  3. Processed for limited purposes
  4. Adequate, relevant and not excessive
  5. Accurate and up-to-date
  6. Not kept longer than necessary
  7. Processed in accordance with the data subject's rights
  8. Secure
  9. Not transferred to countries outside EEA without adequate protection

Applying for Personal Information

Please see Subject Access page under Associated Pages


GMP Publication Scheme



In conjunction with all the other police forces in England, Wales and Northern Ireland, key areas of information that the public may require, were identified and form the basis of our classes of information.

Greater Manchester Police are 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, in the public interest 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. In this respect, Greater Manchester Police will, when appropriate, apply reasonable consideration of the exemptions afforded under the Freedom of Information Act, particularly; Section 30 Investigation and proceedings conducted by public authorities, Section 31 Law enforcement and Section 41 Information provided in confidence.

The person responsible for maintaining the Publication Scheme for Greater Manchester Police is the FOIA Coordinator who is situated within our Information Management Unit (email- [email protected] ).

Aim Of The Scheme

The aim of the Publication Scheme is to set out:

  • What information Greater Manchester Police publishes or intends to publish as a matter of course
  • How we will publish this information
  • Whether the information will be available free of charge or on payment.

How to obtain information


information and publications

Where information is available on the Force's website a hypertext link will direct you to the correct page on the website. Where no online version is available, you should apply to:

Freedom of Information Act Coordinator,

Information Management Section,

Greater Manchester Police Headquarters,

PO Box 22 (S West PDO),

7th Floor,

Chester House,

Boyer Street,


M16 0RE.

Or alternatively email:

[email protected]

When requesting information included in this scheme please include the following details:

  • Your name and address
  • The information or documents you would like to access
  • The way you would like the information to be sent to you
  • (e.g. hard copy, via email).

how long will it take

We will provide information listed in the Publication Scheme promptly and in any case within twenty working days.


Classes of Information



The Freedom of Information Act requires a Publication Scheme to specify the classes of information the public authority already publishes or intends to publish. Our intention is to publish as much information as possible on subjects where there is known to be public interest. However, exemptions under the Freedom of Information Act may prevent some information from being released.

In addition to these classes of information we intend to provide details of information relating to current and topical issues. This area will be constantly reviewed and updated.

Please click on the Classes listed below to view the information we publish:


Subject Access


Subject Access

Section 7 of the Data Protection Act 1998 states that a "data subject" (the person about whom the personal data refers) is entitled, upon written request, to be informed whether or not personal data is held or processed about them.

Should you wish to know what information (if any) the Greater Manchester Police holds about you, or you would like confirmation that you do, or do not have a prosecution/conviction history, you are required to make such a request in writing. For your convenience Greater Manchester Police have devised a standard subject access form which can be printed off.

Once you have printed and completed your application form, please either post to the address below or take it into a police station in the Greater Manchester area (please note, these forms will not be accepted at stations outside of Greater Manchester). Payment of a £10.00 fee and 2 documents of identification must accompany your completed Greater Manchester Police subject access form.

Application forms are also available from:

Information Management Section

Greater Manchester Police Headquarters,

PO Box 22 (S. West PDO),

7th Floor,

Chester House,

Boyer Street,


M16 0RE.

Tel: 0161 856 2534

Alternatively, you can email the unit at [email protected] to obtain an application form or click on the PDF in associated documents.

Please note that once we have received your completed application the process to provide you with information can take up to 40 days.


Hope this helps people, PKea

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Why have you posted - your quote answers your own question :-S


I have posted to answer questions posed by other users.


Many people want to get details from Police forces and this is how to obtain that information.


and ditto to wahat Demon has said

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