Talk:Police force

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It is interesting that the wording of the FOI Act where it lists who is required to comply states:

'A chief officer of police of a police force in England or Wales. [1]

I wonder why this does not simply state "police forces in England and Wales".

Does this make chief officers required personally to comply with the act? What implications does this have for requests for information held by the Association of Chief Police Officers. While a Police Force might refuse a request on the basis that an officer has information, not because of their force role, but as a member of ACPO, if Chief Officers are individually covered by the Act a request could be made directly to a officer?

Richard Taylor 22:31, 31 May 2009 (UTC)


I'm guessing that by nominating the chief officer, it avoids making every individual constable liable to FOI (c.f. pharmacists & GPs). The chief officer is effectively the "body corporate" for the police force, it makes him personally liable for corporate manslaughter for example. Equivalent in the Act is the way that schools are covered by their boards of governors.

Re ACPO, either "Holding on behalf of" or "Reports provided to" would come into play for obtaining ACPO information from chief officers. The ICO has released updated guidance on both of these today [2][3] - it appears to be dependent as usual on exactly on what information is being requested. Knowing what to ask for is the hardest bit :-)

Alex skene 18:29, 1 June 2009 (UTC)