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Information charter

The standards we comply with when handling personal information.

1. We collect and use personal information so that we can carry out legal and legitimate functions as defined by legislation, common law and best practice.

2.  We use information to:
- prevent and detect crime
- apprehend and prosecute offenders
- protect life and property
- maintain law and order and give assistance to members of the public.

3. We may use your personal information to analyse our performance and effectiveness. It might be necessary to contact you and ask you to assist us in this analysis in order to gather information about the service we are providing to the public and to improve that service wherever we can.

4. Where possible and appropriate you will be informed of the reason why your personal information is being held. Personal information may be held without your knowledge or consent when this is necessary for purposes such as the prevention or detection of crime, the prosecution or apprehension of offenders, national security, and public safety.

5. All personal information is handled in accordance with the 6 principles of the Data Protection Act 2018.

6. We collect and use information only for policing and associated purposes. Where appropriate we will obtain your consent. However, we are entitled under statute, common law and the Data Protection Act to hold personal information without consent.

7. If we will be using or disclosing your information for a non-obvious purpose, a purpose that you would not necessarily consider to be a policing function, we will inform you of that use. This may be directly, or via our website or other means of communication with the public.

8. We may share information with other agencies under partnership working arrangements. Where personal information is shared, personal details that can identify individuals will be removed where appropriate. We will share personal information only when it is lawful to do so and when your rights have been fully considered.

9. We may share information with other agencies under partnership working arrangements. Where personal information is shared, personal details that can identify individuals will be removed where appropriate. We will share personal information only when it is lawful to do so and when your rights have been fully considered.

10. We take great care to ensure the information we hold is accurate, kept up to date and is destroyed when no longer required. It has been confirmed by the courts that the police service is entitled to decide on the value of information for policing purposes.

11. We use a variety of physical, technical and procedural measures to protect personal information from unauthorised or accidental disclosure, loss or corruption.

12. Our staff are trained in the appropriate procedures and policies for correct handling of personal information. As well as receiving training at the start of employment, all staff are required to complete refresher training every two years.

13. We proactively monitor the use and quality of information through audits and transaction checks. Staff found to have misused personal information are investigated. We take such breaches seriously and will always consider whether to undertake a criminal investigation, as well as taking action under our disciplinary procedures.

14. We will normally provide a copy of any information we hold about you on request. If you believe the information we hold is inaccurate or misleading it will be checked and corrected if appropriate.

If you are unhappy with the way in which we have handled your personal information you can complain to the Force’s Data Protection Officer or Professional Standards Department.

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