Cheshire Constabulary and the Freedom of Information
This provides individuals the right of access to all information
held by Cheshire Constabulary, subject to a range of
Information disclosed under Freedom of Information is released
into the public domain and not just to applicant.
Cheshire Constabulary is obliged to publish certain information
and statistics that have been agreed with the Information
Commissioner and provide a detailed guide as to how the published
information may be accessed.
These are called Classes of Information and include:
- Who we are and what we do
- What we spend and how we spend it
- What our priorities are and how we are doing
- How we make decisions
- Our policies and procedures
- Lists and registers
- Services provided by the Police Force
In addition, Cheshire Constabulary has proactively published a
large amount of information on this website already through its
extensive logs of previous Freedom of Information requests.
Before applying for a Freedom of Information request, please
look through the information provided on this website to see if
your question can be answered.
If your question is still not answered, you may wish to submit
a Freedom of Information request.
Please also note that Freedom of Information requests that
relate specifically to the applicant, i.e. personal data, is
automatically exempt under the Freedom of Information Act and will
become a Subject Access Request under the Data Protection Act
Freedom of Information Act
The Freedom of Information (FOI) Act was 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.
Under FOI, there is an obligation for publicly funded bodies to
consider requests for information and to provide a response under
the terms of the legislation. There is a presumption of disclosure
unless the authority can demonstrate the harm in release.
Under the Act, public authorities are obliged to make
information available through the implementation of two key
- Offering a general right of access to members of the public who
wish to submit an Freedom of Information request.
- The publication of certain types of information as directed by
the Information Commissioner. This Model Publication Scheme, which
includes details of Cheshire Constabulary’s aims and priorities,
structure, budgets and expenses, key personnel, policies and
procedures and services provided can be found in Classes of
Information. A summary of the information and where to find can be
found in the Guide to Published Information.
How to obtain information under the Freedom of Information
For a request to be valid under the Freedom of Information Act,
the following criteria must be met:
- The request must be made in writing
- Must have a full contact name
- It can be made by email, letter or fax.
- It must contain a return address (this can be an email
- It must clearly identify the information being sought
- It must be legible
- It must contain details of the format you would like the
information to be sent to you (e.g. via email, hard copy).
Cheshire Constabulary is under a duty to provide advice and
assistance to anyone seeking information.
The Act also places a duty on public authorities to respond to
Freedom of Information applicants within 20 working days of
receiving the original request. If we are unable to respond in full
by this date we will write to you to advise when you can expect a
response from us.
To make a request by letter, write to:
Freedom of Information Officer,
Cheshire Constabulary Headquarters,
To make a request by email: firstname.lastname@example.org
To make a request by fax: 01606 364133
The Constabulary's hours of business:
- Monday to Thursday 9am to 5pm
- Friday 9am to 4.30pm
Requests received outside of these hours will be dealt with the
next working day
Appeals and Reviews
Internal reviews: If as a result of our response to an
individuals FOI request, the requestor is unhappy with the
response, the requestor may ask that we review our response. To
that aim we have set out our Appeals
Please note that if you are requesting details of information
held about yourself by Cheshire Constabulary (i.e. your personal
data) this will be passed to the Data
Protection Unit for consideration under the Data Protection
They will send you a Subject Access Application Form. There is a
fee of £10 for this process and you will be required to show two
forms of identification.
General Right of Access - what Cheshire Constabulary is
required to provide
The Freedom of Information Act gives a general right of access
to all types of recorded information held by public authorities
subject to the application of exemptions contained within the
Under the Freedom of Information Act, a public authority must
consider all requests for recorded information it receives and
- Inform the applicant whether the information is held
- Supply the requested information subject to the application of
exemptions contained within the Act.
This general right of access is afforded to anybody anywhere in
The Freedom of Information Act is fully retrospective and covers
all information held in a recorded format. The deadline for a
public authority to respond to requests is 20 working days,
although there are some circumstances where this may be extended
under the terms of the legislation.
Cheshire Constabulary is committed to disclosing as much
information as possible under the Freedom of Information Act,
subject to the application of exemptions contained within the
You can find Cheshire Constabulary’s Popular Freedom of
Information requests as well as a searchable Archive of Freedom of
Information requests on this website.
Information about police investigations
Police investigations are conducted with due regard to the
confidentiality and privacy of victims, witnesses and suspects.
Such investigations may also frequently involve the use of
policing tactics or techniques that, if widely known, would hinder
the ability of the police service to prevent and detect crime. It
is further recognised that the release of information concerning
current investigations may compromise any subsequent court
For these reasons the police service will, in most cases, seek
to apply an exemption to prevent the release of information
concerning investigations when requested under the Freedom of
Information Act 2000.
Whilst adopting this general position, there is full recognition
that in some cases there will be significant and compelling issues
of public interest that require the disclosure of information.
However, to override issues of personal privacy and possible harm
to individuals involved in the investigation, this public interest
must be significantly more than mere curiosity or interest in a
In order to ensure that these public interest issues are fully
considered, all applications for information concerning
investigations will be considered on a case-by-case basis in
accordance with the requirements of the Act.
Cheshire Constabulary’s philosophy and approach to the Freedom
of Information Act
Cheshire Constabulary is committed to delivering an open and
transparent service whenever possible and it is our intention to
publish information on our publication scheme that the public has
an interest in viewing.
However, this must be balanced against the need of the
constabulary to fulfil its core function of law enforcement -
preventing and detecting crime and protecting life and/or property.
As such, it must be recognised that there is no public interest in
the publication of certain information since this will compromise
the force's ability to enforce the law.
Although Cheshire Constabulary is obliged to review all Freedom
of Information requests on a case-by-case basis, sensitive
information - such as ongoing investigations, intelligence and the
use of related operational techniques - must be protected. These
are fundamental to the maintenance of a just and safe society. With
this in mind, Cheshire Constabulary will, when appropriate, apply
reasonable consideration to the use of key exemptions.
Cheshire Constabulary follows the processes and guidance laid
out by the
Association of Chief Police Officers' National Manual of
Guidance for the police service.
Cheshire Constabulary also follows the guidelines contained
within its own Freedom of Information Procedure and has also a
Guide to Published Information which details what information we
have published on this website and where to find it.
FOI Act statistics for Cheshire Constabulary
Freedom of Information reviews
||Number of reviews
Appeals to the Information Commissioner
Appeals to Information Tribunal