Freedom of Information
The Police Service of Northern Ireland is committed to being open, accountable and transparent regarding the services we provide for and to the public. We are continually working to develop a culture of greater openness and we are making more information on policing available than ever before.
The Freedom of Information Act 2000 is intended to create better public understanding of:
- How public authorities carry out their duties
- Why they make their decisions
- How they spend public money
Under the Act, public authorities are obliged to make information available through the implementation of two key tools: PSNI Publication Scheme and General Right of Access.
PSNI Publication Scheme
A publication scheme sets out the type of recorded information that a public authority should make routinely available. The information should be easy for the authority and any individual to find and use.
The PSNI have had a publication scheme in place since 2003, however it was updated on 1 January 2009 in compliance with the new publication scheme model produced by the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) for police services in the United Kingdom. (The Information Commissioner's Office is a government body that ensures all public authorities comply with the Act). The new scheme provides information under seven class headings, each providing areas of information which we believe you will find interesting, and offers clarity in respect of our business.
A ‘quick link’ to our publication scheme document together with the ICO’s model publication scheme guidance document can be found in our publication scheme definition document and Model Publication Scheme for Police Services.
All information on the publication scheme is free to access and use, however a small fee may be charged should you request any of the information in hardcopy. You will be informed if there are any charges prior to release of the information. Read more about our publication scheme and charges.
Also, please respect our copyright.
General Right of Access
If the information you seek is not available via our publication scheme or the PSNI website you can make an application via Right of Access. Find out more about Right of Access including how to make an application.
Subject Access Requests Under The Data Protection Act
Please note that the Freedom of Information Act is essentially about non-personal information. If you are seeking information of a personal nature the request should be made under the Data Protection Act. It provides access to individual enquirers to information held on them. This is known as Subject Access. It covers requests for personal information for employment, emigration purposes as well as information in respect of incidents brought to the attention of police involving the application. Further information, including an application form, is available on the Subject Access page.
- Freedom of Information Act 2000
- Data Protection Act 1998
- Information Commissioner's Office
- Office of Public Sector Information
- Association of Chief Police Officers