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Frequently Asked Questions

FAQs about Freedom of Information

It gives 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 right to request information under the Act came into effect on 1st January 2005.

Dorset Police started their 'Publication Scheme', which is required by the Act, and publishes information such as our policy documents, on 30th June 2003.

Only in exceptional circumstances, requests for personal information will be dealt with under the Data Protection Act.

Yes, but the requests would have to be dealt with separately, under the Data Protection Act and the Freedom of Information Act.

The Information Commissioner is responsible for the regulation of the Freedom of Information Act and the Data Protection Act.

Anyone, an individual or a corporate body, they do not have to be UK citizens or residents. They only need to supply Dorset Police with sufficient details to process the request and reply.

A request will have to be dealt with within 20 working days, unless Dorset Police believes that the information requested is subject to exemptions and it has to consider the public interest in disclosure, in which case it may take such time as is reasonable in the circumstances. Information subject to a request under the Data Protection Act will have to be dealt with in 40 days.