Contrary to what the Police often think - section 29 is NOT about them
being entitled to have information.
Neither the Police nor any other authority with powers of investigation can
make a request / demand under section 29 (CSCI included!). Because the
section relates to the disclosing organisation's exemption from the non-
disclosure provisions (and SAR) only if it is truely satisfied that the
information should be disclosed for crime / taxation purposes.
So the onus is on the Police or other investigating body to convince you
that information held by your organisation is required for crime / taxation
purposes. Its not an excuse for a 'fishing expedition' so Police need to
have a reasonable idea of what information you might have and explain how
their case would be prejudiced without it.
We get lots of requests from Police (and local authorities, and
immigration, and tax inspectors ...) and every one is consided on its own
merits. In the first instance ask for their stautory authority to obtain
information from us so we can consider section 35 and only consider section
29 if necessary. If we're not satisfied, we request a court order and its
amazing how often PC29 backs off at that stage!
Kirsty E Gray
Access to Information Advisor
Commission for Social Care Inspection
Note: comments for discussion and debate only and do not necessarily
reflect the corporate position of CSCI nor constitute legal advice
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