Freedom of Information
The Freedom of Information Act 2000
The Freedom of Information Act gives people the right to access information held by public authorities including Dorset Police. The purpose of the Act is to make bodies such as Dorset Police 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 harm in release. The Act also requires that Dorset Police adopt, operate and maintain a publication scheme. The purpose of the scheme is to highlight the types of information that Dorset Police will publish through our website or make available immediately upon receiving a request for it.
Making a Freedom of Information Request
The Freedom of Information Act 2000 allows anyone to request information held by Dorset Police.
Such requests must be in writing and include your name and an address for correspondence.
Requests can be submitted by email and an email address is currently considered to be an appropriate address.
Requests for information can take up to 20 working days to process and are almost always free of charge. If the public interest needs to be considered requests can take longer to deal with.
Dorset Police receives an average of 60 requests for information every month and releases information in response to a majority of those requests.
Dorset Police refer to the Association of Chief Police Officers Freedom of Information Manual of Guidance (please see below) when dealing with requests for information.
Information held by the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner (OPCC) for Dorset
If you choose to submit a Freedom of Information Request to Dorset Police; occasionally, and depending on the type of information you seek, it may be that your Freedom of Information Request should be directed to the OPCC rather than the force. If this is the case, you will receive an Acknowledgement from this Office to confirm that the matter of your request has been transferred.
For information regarding the types of Freedom of Information request dealt with by the OPCC and how you can submit your request, please follow this link.
Has this Information been published already?
Before you submit a request for information, it might help you to look at the Freedom of Information disclosure log to see if the information that you are interested in has already been published in response to another request.
You can also find a link on the right hand side of this page, which by clicking will take you to the Disclosure log index where our previous FOI responses are published regularly, by year and by subject matter. This should also give some indication of the type of information you can access via the Freedom of Information Act, from Dorset Police.
How do I Contact the Freedom of Information Office at Dorset Police?
Our contact details are:
Alliance FOI Team
Alliance Information Management Department
Middlemoor Police HQ
You can use the following form to submit a Freedom of Information request to the FOI manager. Please note that applicants must submit their true full name (pseudonyms are not valid under Section 8 of the Act).
Please note that all items marked with an asterisk (*) are required.
Alternatively, should you require any advice or assistance please contact:
The Freedom of Information office by telephone on 01392 226770/ 226220, or alternatively by email on firstname.lastname@example.org.
So what Information can be disclosed to me, and how?
Still unsure as to where you should direct your Information Enquiry? Follow this link to our 'Accessing Information' step-by-step guide