Our Privacy Notice aims to tell you how Thames Valley Police use and disclose personal data. It also explains the rights available to you in respect of our processing.
The use and disclosure of your personal information is governed in the United Kingdom by the General Data Protection Regulation, and the UK Data Protection Act.
The Chief Constable is defined as the ‘Data Controller’ for the purposes of the legislation and is required to ensure Thames Valley Police handles all personal information in accordance with that legislation.
Thames Valley Police takes its responsibilities very seriously and great care is taken to ensure your personal data is processed appropriately to maintain trust and confidence.
Our 'Appropriate Processing Documents' (GDPR Processing and Law Enforcement Processing) also provide information about how Thames Valley Police safeguards and protects the sensitive personal information it uses. This 'sensitive' information includes personal data about an individual's: race, ethnic origin, politics, religion, trade union membership, genetics, biometrics (where used for ID purposes), health, sex life, sexual orientation, and criminality.
A privacy notice specifically for personal data processed via the Digital Evidence Management System (DEMS) Community Portal is available using this link: Digital Evidence Management System (DEMS) Privacy Notice.
Why do we process personal information?
Thames Valley Police obtain, hold, use and disclose personal information for two broad reasons.
We have a statutory duty to uphold the law, prevent crime, bring offenders to justice and protect the public. This means we process your personal information for carrying out tasks that are collectively described as the ‘policing purpose’ which includes:
the prevention and detection of crime; apprehension and prosecution of offenders; protecting life and property; preserving order; maintenance of law and order; assisting the public in accordance with force policies and procedures; national security; defending civil proceedings and any duty or responsibility of the police arising from common or statute law.
To do this it is necessary for us to process your personal information under the lawful basis of ‘public task’.
It should also be noted that Thames Valley Police is involved in a number of collaborations with other Forces and the policing purpose may include processing personal information obtained from them or on their behalf.
We also process personal data to ensure the smooth running of the organisation, which includes
staff administration; recruitment; occupational health and welfare, advertising and media; accounting, audit and inspection; training; property management; insurance management; vehicle and transport management; payroll, pensions and benefits management; management of complaints; vetting; legal services and defending ourselves in civil proceedings; licensing and registration; research, including customer surveys; performance management; sports and recreation; management of safety and health; procurement; collaboration with other organisations.
In these circumstances the processing is likely to be based on one or more of the following grounds:
- It is necessary for performing a contract;
- It is necessary to comply with a legal obligation;
- We have a legitimate interest to do so, and it is necessary and balanced against your own interests, rights and freedoms
- It is necessary to protect an individual’s vital interests
- You have consented to the processing of your personal data.
It is appropriate to highlight we have a requirement to carry out user satisfaction surveys to evaluate our performance and effectiveness. We may contact you if you have been a victim of crime or reported an incident to us to ask for your opinion about the service you have received. Sometimes, like many police forces, we may use a private company to undertake these surveys. The information we obtain from the surveys are used to help us improve.
Thames Valley Police will only use the minimum amount of personal information necessary to carry out a particular activity.
See the Covid-19 privacy notice for more information about how we may seek to collect and hold additional information about you in relation to the challenges we are all facing during the Coronavirus pandemic.
What type of personal information do we hold?
The type of personal information we hold will vary depending upon the reason you have had contact with us but it may include:
Name and address; photograph; family, lifestyle and social circumstances; Education and training details; Employment details; Financial details; Goods or services provided; Racial or ethnic origin; Political opinions; Religious or other beliefs of a similar nature; Trade union membership; Physical or mental health or condition; Sexual life; Offences and alleged offences; Criminal proceedings, outcomes and sentences; Cautions; Physical identifiers including DNA, fingerprints and other genetic samples; Sound and visual images; Licenses or permits held; Criminal Intelligence; Complaint, incident, civil litigation and accident details.
Your personal information may be held on a computer system, in a manual record such as in a physical file or a photograph but it can also include other types of electronically held information such as CCTV or body worn video.
Where do we obtain personal information from?
Other than directly from you, we collect personal data from a wide range of sources in the exercise of our functions. For example, we collect data for our policing purpose, from other law enforcement agencies, partner agencies and via direct reporting from the public.
We also process personal data that is collected in the course of our administrative functions. For example, staff administration, recruitment, procurement, property management, advertising and media.
Who do we share your personal information with?
To carry out the purposes described Thames Valley Police may disclose personal information to a wide variety of recipients in any part of the world, including those from whom personal data is obtained. This may include:
- Law enforcement agencies (including international agencies);
- Partner agencies working on crime reduction or safeguarding initiatives;
- Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner
- Partners in the Criminal Justice arena;
- Victim Support Service providers;
- To bodies or individuals working on our behalf;
- National and Local government;
- Authorities involved in offender management;
- Ombudsmen, auditors and regulatory authorities;
- The media;
- International agencies concerned with the safeguarding of international and domestic national security;
- Third parties involved with investigations relating to the safeguarding of national security;
- To other bodies or individuals where necessary to prevent harm to individuals.
Disclosures of personal information are made on a case-by-case basis, using the personal information appropriate to a specific purpose and circumstances, and with necessary controls in place.
Where you have provided your personal data to us for the purposes of the police constable recruitment process, your data, including biographical monitoring information, will be shared with the College of Policing.
It will be stored on their secure network or within their Assessment Information Management System (AIMS). From this information, your name, email address and candidate reference number will be uploaded to the new online assessment platform for constable recruitment and shared with the third party provider hosting the system in order to progress your application virtually.
Some of the bodies or individuals to which we may disclose personal information are situated outside of the European Union - some of which do not have laws that protect data protection rights as extensively as in the United Kingdom. If we do transfer personal data to such territories, we ensure that there are appropriate safeguards in place to certify that it is adequately protected as required by the legislation.
Thames Valley Police will also disclose personal information to other bodies or individuals when required to do so by, or under, any act of legislation, by any rule of law, and by court order. This may include:
- Serious Fraud Office;
- Child Maintenance Service;
- National Fraud Initiative;
- Regulatory Bodies
Thames Valley Police may also disclose personal information on a discretionary basis for the purpose of, and in connection with, any legal proceedings or for obtaining legal advice.
How do we keep your personal information safe?
Thames Valley Police takes the security of all personal information under our control very seriously. We will comply with the relevant parts of the legislation relating to security, and seek to comply with the College of Policing Information Assurance authorised practice, and relevant parts of the ISO27001 Information Security Standard.
We will ensure that appropriate policy, training, technical and procedural measures are in place. These will include, but are not limited to, ensuring our buildings are secure and protected by adequate physical means. The areas restricted to our police officers and staff are only accessible by those holding the appropriate identification, and having legitimate reasons for entry. We carry out audits of our buildings security to ensure they are secure. Our standard operating procedures and policies make clear what use may be made of any personal information contained within them. Our systems meet appropriate industry and government security standards.
What are your Rights?
Right of Access
The Data Protection legislation allows you to request access to your personal information free of charge and requires us to provide you with access to it (normally within one month of receipt of your request unless an exemption from doing so can be lawfully applied). Should you wish to request access to the personal information we may be holding about you please use this link: Requesting my information.
Right to be Informed
This places an obligation upon Thames Valley Police to tell you how we obtain your personal information and describe how we will use, retain, store and who we may share it with.
We have written this Privacy Notice to explain how we will use your personal information and tell you what your rights are under the legislation.
Right to Rectification
If the personal information Thames Valley Police is holding about you is inaccurate or incomplete you have the right to request us to correct it.
If you need to tell us your information is not correct, you should raise your concern by contacting us on the details provided below. We will respond to you within one month unless the request for amendment is complex.
Right to Erasure
Under certain circumstances, you have the right to have your personal information deleted to prevent its continued processing where there is no justification for us to retain it.
Circumstances that are likely to require us to delete your information include:
- Where your personal information is no longer necessary in relation to the purpose for which it was originally collected and processed;
- When an individual withdraws consent (but only if we are relying on your consent to hold it);
- If we are relying on the legitimate interests as our basis for processing and you have objected and there is no overriding reason for us to continue processing;
The right of erasure does not apply if your personal information is being processed by us:
- To comply with a legal obligation;
- For the performance of a task carried out in the public interest or in the exercise of official authority;
- For the establishment, exercise or defence of legal claims;
- To exercise the right of freedom of expression and information;
- For archiving purposes in the public interest, scientific research, historical research or statistical purposes where erasure is likely to make it impossible to carry out or seriously impair that processing.
If you wish to request that your information is deleted you should raise a request via the following link Right to erasure or use the Contact Us details provided below. We will respond to you within one month unless the request is complex.
Right to Restrict Processing
Under certain circumstances you have the right to ask us to restrict the processing of your personal information. This may be in cases where:
- You are contesting the accuracy your information and while we are verifying the accuracy of it
- Your information has been unlawfully processed and you oppose its erasure and have requested a restriction instead;
- Where Thames Valley Police no longer requires your information but you need it to establish, exercise or defend a legal claim.
If you wish to restrict the processing of your information you should raise your concerns via the Contact Us details provided below.
Right to Data Portability
The right to data portability allows you to obtain and reuse your personal information for your own purposes from one environment to another.
This right only applies to personal information provided by an individual, where the processing is based on their consent or for the performance of a contract and when that processing is carried out by automated means.
If you wish to discuss this right, you should do so via the Contact Us details provided below.
Right to Object
You have the right to object to:
- Processing based on legitimate interests or performance of a task in the public interest and or exercise of official authority;
- Processing of your information for scientific and historical research and statistics;
- Direct marketing.
Any objection must be on grounds relating to your particular situation. Should you wish to object you can raise your concerns via the Contact Us details provided below.
Rights related to automated decision making and profiling
Under the Data Protection legislation you have the right not to be subject to a decision when it is based on solely automated processing, including profiling and which produces a legal effect or similar significant effect on you.
This right does not apply if the decision is authorised by law, is necessary for entering into or performance of a contract or is based on your consent.
Thames Valley Police is unlikely to carry out automated decision making because our processes involve some type of human interaction and decision making.
In the legislation, profiling has been described as any form of automated processing of personal data intended to evaluate certain personal aspects about you to predict things about you such as your behaviour, interests, movements or performance at work. We do not currently carry out automated profiling
If you have any concerns about automated decision making or automated profiling you should contact us via the Contact Us details provided below.
How long will we keep your personal information?
Thames Valley Police keeps your personal information as long as is necessary for the particular purpose or purposes for which it is held.
Personal data relating to criminal investigations; intelligence; public protection and custody are retained in accordance with the College of Policing guidance on the Management of Police Information.
Other records are retained in line with the National Retention and Disposal Schedule.
Personal information which is placed on the Police National Computer is retained, reviewed and deleted in accordance with the Retention Guidelines for Nominal Records on the Police National Computer.
If you have any concerns about how Thames Valley Police has handled your personal information you should contact our Data Protection Officer by email or write to:
Data Protection Officer
Thames Valley Police
Public Access Office
Telephone: 01865 542051
If you want to raise a concern with the Supervisory Authority
The Information Commissioner is the independent Authority responsible within the UK for ensuring we comply with data protection legislation. If you have a concern about how we have used your personal information or you believe you have been adversely affected by our handling of your data you may wish to contact them using the information below:
The Information Commissioner’s Office,
Changes to our Privacy Notice
We keep our privacy notice under regular review. This privacy notice was last updated on 13th February 2019.