Our legal obligations related to the public’s 'Right of Access'
On 21st June 2019 the Information Commissioner served two enforcement notices on the Met for being unable to meet our legal obligations related to the public's 'Right of Access' (formerly Subject Access), under the Data Protection Acts (DPA) of 2018 (and 1998).
The public's 'Right of Access' is a duty placed on businesses and public authorities which allows a person to find out what records are held about them.
With an increase in these requests, partly due to the introduction of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), there is now a backlog and we've been unable to respond to requests within the legal timeframe – resulting in the enforcement action from the Information Commissioner.
The public’s right of access is important to us. We are making progress and this is further strengthened by the oversight being provided by the Information Commissioner’s Office who have required us to address our challenges and restore a normal service by the end of September 2019.
We regret that the current backlog may affect the speed at which your request can be dealt with. We'll endeavour to keep you informed about the delay you may experience and would ask that you do not follow up unless you have not heard by the end of September. The staff processing cases also respond to follow up contacts and so consequently lose processing time.
If you are considering submitting a new right of access application, please consider whether there is an alternate route. For instance, if you require a copy of a stop slip or a copy of your custody record you can attend any Met police station to request this (within 30-calendar days for the stop slip and 12-months for the custody record).
All new requests are triaged and if your request is a straightforward matter, then it will be processed immediately. For example a single crime report can be returned swiftly. Requests that require information from a variety of sources or substantial material to be reviewed will inevitably take substantially longer to complete.
Copies of the enforcement notices can be found on the ICO’s website: