Freedom of Information Requests
The Freedom of Information Act 2000 provides public access to information held by public authorities.
It does this in two ways:
public authorities are obliged to publish certain information about their activities; and
members of the public are entitled to request information from public authorities.
The main principle behind freedom of information legislation is that people have a right to know about the activities of public authorities, unless there is a good reason for them not to. This is sometimes described as a presumption or assumption in favour of disclosure. The Act is also sometimes described as purpose and applicant blind.
Access to official information can also improve public confidence and trust if the police are seen as being open.
In practice, if you look at some of our requests or those from other members of the public, the force seem to make it difficult for the Requestor to obtain information by putting obstacles in the way or using exemptions which are often not relevant.
If one were to believe the force, a large number of the requests by Hampshire residents are considered to be "vexatious."
Of course this is not true in the majority of cases however; the type of questions asked and the amount of information asked for can give the force a legitimate reason for refusing to supply information.
Be sensible, if you wish to make your own Freedom of Information request, do some research so that your request is less likely to be refused.
Also look at the ICO guidance for organisations as to how they should deal with your FOI request and you will be one step ahead in knowing whether or not you are being fobbed off.
To view our own Freedom of Information requests please click on the link below.