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Information management and data quality

The College of Policing sets a common national framework (opens in a new window)for the management of all police information and is used across all 43 UK police forces.

The guidance sets the standard expected of all police forces on how information is used for a specific policing purpose and how it is obtained, shared, retained and deleted across the following subject areas;

  • crime and intelligence
  • domestic violence
  • child abuse investigations
  • firearms revocations and refusals
  • custody.

Information management

Being open and transparent is a crucial part of policing. Every piece of information recorded on our policing systems is protected and processed in compliance with relevant laws and codes of practice. Our main responsibilities are to;

  • implement the management of police information guidance
  • ensure the government protective marking scheme (opens in a new window) is consistently applied within the force
  • standardise and centrally retain information sharing arrangements
  • implement the IMPACT Nominal Index, which is a computer system that enables all police forces to check if any other UK police force holds information on a person of interest
  • ensure processes are in place to review police records.

Data quality

Data quality is key to successful information management. We ensure all information is recorded properly to prevent vital information getting lost, is only shared where appropriate and is retained for the correct length of time.

All police information must follow the following data quality principles;

  • accurate - care is taken when recording information and, where appropriate, the source is recorded
  • adequate - for example, more information may be needed from a witness of a fatal collision, than of a minor accident
  • relevant - information must have a policing purpose
  • timely - information is promptly recorded in accordance with agreed time scales.

Fair processing

We only obtain, hold, use and disclose personal information if it is for a particular policing or support purpose. Our fair processing notice* details how we process personal information, including;

  • why we hold personal information
  • the types of data we handle
  • where we obtain data from
  • how we keep data and personal information secure
  • who we disclose or share information.

Personal information is only held for a certain length of time for which national disposal guidance (opens in a new window) is set on how data is managed and destroyed. 

*correct at the time of publishing: April 2018. For an updated version, please contact our Information Rights Unit

Information handling policy

When our staff handle personal information relating to those involved with the victim and witness hub, the below rules are followed in line with our privacy policy;

  1. victim and witness care delivery managers collect and use information to provide support to victims of crime. Third party service providers may be used to assist with the delivery of support to a victim of crime. The victim and witness hub will only share information to third party service providers with your explicit consent, unless we are required to do so by law or it is in the overriding public interest to do so
  2. victim and witness care delivery managers collect and use personal information so that they can provide a service to victims of crim
  3. victim and witness care delivery managers hold your personal data to provide you with assistance if you have been a victim of a crime
  4. your personal information will always be treated in confidence and may be held or processed for specific purposes outside those detailed above. These circumstances could include; the prevention or detection of crime, the prosecution or arrest of suspects, national security, and public safety
  5. personal information is handled in accordance with the Data Protection Act (opens in a new window) and as detailed on the Data Protection Public Register (opens in a new window) using registration number Z4882190
  6. when a crime is reported but the victim lives in another police force area, the victim's details are shared with the relevant department of that police force
  7. victim and witness care delivery managers ensure any information held is accurate, kept up-to-date and destroyed when no longer required
  8. victim and witness care delivery managers use a variety of measures to protect personal information from unauthorised or accidental disclosure, loss or corruption
  9. all victim and witness hub staff are trained in the appropriate procedures and policies for correct handling of personal information
  10. victim and witness care delivery managers may refer victims to other external organisations for additional support to victims of crime. We are not responsible for the content or privacy practices of these organisations. We recommend reading their privacy and information handling policies, which should be available on their websites
  11. you have the right to opt out of receiving a service from the victim and witness hub at any time and all contact from the victim and witness hub will end from this point. If you do opt out, your data may still be kept on record, where it is appropriate to do so.

To speak to a member of our team regarding your personal information, how we handle information or anything else related to data management or quality please contact us

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