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Decision Summary

  • Case Ref: FS50082768
  • Date: 7 November 2007
  • Public Authority: Devon and Cornwall Constabulary
  • Summary: The complainant requested six pieces of information connected with the investigation of a serious allegation that was made against him. The public authority refused to provide this information citing Section 30(1) (Information obtained during an investigation), Section 38 (Health and Safety), Section 40(1) (Personal Data relating to the applicant) and Section 40(2) (Unfair Disclosure of Personal Data). In relation to the withheld information, the Commissioner has decided that the names of the accusers and the officers involved in the investigation, arrest and detention of the complainant constitues his personal data and that DCC appropriately cited section 40(1) in relation to this information. However the Commissioner is also of the view that Section 40(5) should have also been claimed over this information and that the public authority therefore was not compelled to comply with section 1(1)(a) and confirm or deny if this information was held. The Commissioner was advised that a considerable amount of information within the scope of the request had already been disclosed to the complainant under the Data Protection Act 1998 (‘the DPA’) during 2002. The Commissioner has identified a limited amount of additional information that constitutes the complainant’s personal data that was not disclosed to him at that time. He will now make a separate assessment under section 42 of the DPA in respect of that information. DCC breached section 1(1)(a) in failing to inform the complainant that the whereabouts of the accusers was not held. DCC appropriately cited section 40(2) in relation to information about the complainant’s wife and son and to information about the whereabouts of officers who dealt with him who had retired at the stage the request was received. However, the Commissioner has decided that DCC inappropriately refused to provide information about which station serving officers involved with the complainant were assigned to at the time of the request on the basis that section 40(2) applied. He has further determined that section 30(1) was inappropriately applied to that information. He has therefore ordered DCC to release the station addresses of serving officers who dealt with the complainant.
  • View PDF of Decision Notice: [1]