The council recognises that there are times when external organisations need to request information from us for reasons such as legal proceedings, coroner’s requests, crime prevention or detection and national security or fraud prevention.
In order to ensure that any requests and subsequent disclosures are compliant with data protection legislation we ask that you provide certain information to assist us in complying with any legal requirements or obligations.
What you need to know:
Police disclosure requests:
Urgent vital to life requests - these should come from the appropriate responsible police officer but we recognise that in these situations, time constraints and the need for urgency, may mean that it is more appropriate for the request to be made verbally or directly to a council officer in the first instance.
In these circumstances requests will be responded to on a case-by-case basis and you should make clear the legal requirement to disclose such information to you, otherwise follow the below processes.
Criminal Investigations - the council and Police have very specific ways of being able to communicate and support each other in the event of incidents, investigations or requests for information such as child protection or missing person’s enquiries. In the event of a criminal investigation or to prevent crime, officers must complete the WA170 form accordingly.
Child Protection Cases - these must be requested using the appropriate Annex C form and police process.
Any other disclosure requests must be made in writing. You must:
- State the lawful basis for disclosure - if the request is in line with an authority or an obligation in law please provide details of the relevant legislation
- Requests due to court instruction will need to supply a copy of the relevant court order
- Be as explicit as possible with regards to the level of information being requested
- If you wish for any of the allowable exemptions under Schedule 2 of the Data Protection Act 2018 to be applied, please state these clearly
- Where possible you identify the services that might be involved with your request, such as benefits, social care or legal
Legal and other disclosure types:
Where your request is related to legal proceedings, coroners' inquests, court proceedings or other legal requirements such as national security, anti-terror, fraud prevention or the protection of vulnerable individuals or groups.
Please ensure you request is clear and defines the lawful basis for disclosure in accordance with the schedules of the Data Protection Act 2018 or relevant legislation that you are relying on for the disclosure. You must ensure you request explains clearly the level and type of information being requested. This will ensure we can process and respond to any such requests lawfully and in a timely manner.
Disclosure requests must be in writing and be sent to our information rights and assurance team via email. This will ensure requests are recorded and managed/responded to quickly and appropriately.
In the event of safeguarding requests these should be processed as above and via the correct channels such as MASH for children or initial intake for adults.
You can find out more information about making disclosure requests from the Information Commissioners Office, who have produced best practice guidance on data sharing.
Or by Post to;
Resources & Transformation Directorate