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Essex Police criticised for lack of engagement with ICO investigation

Essex Police have been strongly criticised by the Information Commissioner over their handling of a request and lack of engagement with the Commissioner’s Office during its investigation of the case:

“During the course of his investigation, the Commissioner has met with resistance in his attempts to understand the public authority’s reasons for invoking section 12 [the cost limit]. The public authority has appeared unwilling or unable to provide the details requested or to meet the timescales for response set out in the Commissioner’s letters. The Commissioner does not consider the public authority’s approach in this case to be particularly co-operative, or within the spirit of the Act. As such he will be monitoring the public authority’s future engagement with his office and would hope to see improvements in this regard.”

The force was also criticised for destroying requested information before the appeal process had been fully exhausted – the notice states it “may have been destroyed after the public authority became aware of the Commissioner’s investigation” – for taking five months to complete an internal review and for failing to provide the requester with adequate advice and assistance.

See Decision Notice FS50143930

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