Freedom of Information
Under the terms of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 any person or organisation has the right to request any information held by the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner (OPCC), subject to the exemptions listed in the Act.
The Act intends to promote a culture of openness and accountability and therefore facilitate better understanding of how the OPCC (and other organisations) carry out their duties, why we make the decisions we make and how we spend public money.
Before Making a Request
Before you make a request for information please consider whether or not the information you are looking for is already available on our website, particularly within the Publication Scheme section. The Elected Local Policing Bodies (Specified Information) Order 2011 (as amended) sets out a number of information publication requirements that are placed on Police and Crime Commissioners.
It is also advisable to check our FOI Disclosure Log which provides details of responses already issued to previous FOI requests and which may provide the information that you are seeking.
If the information you want is not already available on this website then you may wish to make a specific request for information and we will then deal with it in accordance with the provisions of the Freedom of Information Act 2000.
Making an FOI Request
The easiest way to make a request is to visit the Make a Freedom of Information request page and fill in the form. Alternatively, you can write to us using the details contained within the Contact Us section of the website.
Please include a name and address for correspondence, and as much detail as possible about the information that you require.
All FOI requests will be allocated a specific reference number and responded to as promptly as possible. Under the terms of the Act we will normally be required to respond fully to your request within 20 working days of the date of receipt. However, this can be extended in certain circumstances.
The OPCC must supply the information that you have requested (if we hold it) and within the timescales stated above, unless an exemption applies. An exemption may either permit the OPCC to withhold some or all of the information requested. If an exemption applies, then the OPCC may also take more time to consider and respond to your request. In either case, you will be kept informed.
There is no charge for searching for information. However if the staff time involved to search, identify and retrieve the requested information exceeds £450.00, then a charge can be made or we can refuse the request. We can make a nominal charge for disbursements e.g. photocopying at 10 pence per A4 sheet. If a charge for searching for information is payable we will advise you and the information you have requested will not be supplied until that fee is paid.
Subject Access Request
Subject to certain exemptions, you have the right to obtain a copy of your personal data and supplementary information as held by the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner (OPCC) for Dorset.
The Data Protection Act 2018 and the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) allows individuals to ask for a copy of the personal information that is held about them by the Dorset OPCC. This is known as a Subject Access Request.
To make a Subject Access Request please contact us on 01202 229084 or download a copy here.
A response will be provided to you within 30 calendar days from the receipt of your request. Where a request is particularly complex or onerous, the OPCC may need to extend the timescale. Where we require longer to process your request, we will contact you to explain the reasons.
PLEASE NOTE:The Dorset OPCC is a separate organisation to Dorset Police and, as such, does not hold information regarding criminal records or access to the Police National Computer. If you wish to receive information from Dorset Police then a separate request will need to be made directly to the Force (see link below).
Advice and Assistance
The OPCC has a duty to provide advice and assistance in order to help you obtain information from us. This could include the following:
- Providing help and assistance if you are visually impaired
- Arranging assistance in interpreting information into other languages where practical and reasonable
- In exceptional circumstances, noting down the request for you and obtaining your confirmation of the details
- Referring you to other agencies for help, such as the Citizens Advice Bureau