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Data Protection

On the 25th May 2018 the Data Protection Act 2018 was implemented by the UK as the General Data Protection Regulation also known as GDPR. It controls how personal information is captured and used by organisations and the government.

Everyone responsible for using personal data has to follow strict rules called ‘data protection principles’ and must ensure that the information they obtain is for a lawful purpose, used fairly and must be transparent about its intended purpose of usage and used explicitly for that purpose only.

Data should also not be kept for more than is necessary, and whilst it is kept, should be kept up to date and handled and secured in a way that does not compromise its protection from unauthorised processing, loss of theft of data.  

It is important to note that there is stronger legal protection for more sensitive information such as race, health, sex life, orientation, ethnic background. There are separate safeguards for personal data relating to criminal convictions and offences.

Under the Data Protection Act 2018, an individual has the right to find out what information the government and other organisations holds about them and this ideally should be provided to the individual within 1 month.  

To make a complaint about the misuse of personal information or lack of security it should be made to the organisation, following their response the complaint can also be made to the Information Commissioner’s Office.

ICO
casework@ico.org.uk
Telephone: 0303 123 1113

Published 01/01/2018
Authoring body: Information Commissioner's Office (ICO)
Principles
Resource
Equality Act 2010: Guidance (2015)

The Equality Act 2010 replaced previous anti-discrimination laws with a single Act. It protected people from discrimination, age discrimination and public sector Equality Duty, sets out the different ways in which the maltreatment of an individual can be unlawful.

The Equality Act 2010 provides a basic framework of protection against direct and indirect discrimination, harassment and victimisation in services and public functions, work, education, associations and transport, protection against indirect discrimination to disability, allowing claims for direct gender pay discrimination where there is no actual comparator and much more.

Before the Act came into force there were several pieces of legislation to cover discrimination, including:

  • Sex Discrimination Act 1975

  • Race Relations Act 1976

  • Disability Discrimination Act 1995

Complaints made about unlawful treatment, that happened after the 1st October 2010, the Equality Act will apply. However if was before this date, then the legislation that was in force at the time will apply.

The Equality Act 2010 includes provisions that ban age discrimination against adults in the provision of services and public functions. It also includes the public sector Equality Duty public bodies have to consider all individuals when carrying out their day-to-day work – in shaping policy, in delivering services and in relation to their own employees.

Published 01/01/2015
Authoring body: Government Equalities Office
Policy
Resource
Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000 (RIPA)

The regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000 relates to the interception, acquisition and disclosure of data relating to communications, the carrying out of surveillance, the use of covert human intelligence sources and the acquisition of the means by which electronic data protected by encryption or passwords may be decrypted or accessed.

There are three main ways of surveillance and covert human intelligence

  1. direct surveillance

  2. intrusive surveillance

  3. use of covert human intelligence sources

Non-intrusive covert surveillance can be undertaken for a specific investigation, operation or purpose. Its result is to obtain private information about a person (whether or not one specifically identified for the purposes of the investigation or operation)

Intrusive surveillance is carried out either in a residential premises or private vehicle; and involves the presence of an individual on the premises or in the vehicle or is carried out by means of a surveillance device.

Human intelligence source is inducing, asking or assisting a person to obtain information by means of the conduct of such a source. This is achieved by establishing a personal or other relationship with a person for the covert purpose and covertly discloses information obtained by the use of such a relationship, or as a consequence of the existence of such a relationship.

Published 01/01/2000
Authoring body: Her Majesty’s Stationery Office (HMSO)
Principles
Resource
Criminal Procedure & Investigations Act 1996 Code of Practice

The Criminal Procedure and Investigations Code of Practice applies in respect of criminal investigations conducted by police. A criminal investigation can be defined an investigation conducted by police officers with a view to it being ascertained whether a person should be charged with an offence, or whether a person charged with an offence is guilty of it. 

This document sets out the manner in which police officers are to record, retain and reveal to the prosecutor material obtained in a criminal investigation.

The roles and responsibilities within a criminal investigation can vary. The functions of the investigator, the officer in charge of an investigation and the disclosure officer are separate. The amount of persons attached to this case to fulfil the above roles will depend on the complexity of the case and the administrative arrangements within each police force. Commonly, where there are more than one person undertaking the roles, close consultation between them is essential to the effective performance of the duties imposed by this code. 


Persons other than police officers who are charged with the duty of conducting an investigation as defined in the Act are to have regard to the relevant provisions of the code, and should take these into account in applying their own operating procedures. 


Published 01/01/2015
Authoring body: Ministry of Justice (MoJ)
Standards
Resource
DNA and Fingerprint Provisions

Protection of Freedoms Act 2012: DNA and fingerprint provisions was introduced in October 2013 to cover the retention of DNA and fingerprints where it was ruled in the European Court in the case of S and Marper v UK that the blanket retention of DNA profiles taken from innocent people posed a disproportionate interference with the right to private life.

The protection of Freedoms Act strikes a balance between protecting the freedoms of those who are innocent of any offence whilst ensuring that the police continue to have the capability to protect the public and bring criminals to justice. 

A DNA sample is an individual’s biological material, containing all of their genetic information. The act requires all DNA samples to be destroyed within 6 months of being taken. This allows sufficient time for the sample to be analysed. The only exception to this is if the sample is required for use as evidence in court, in which case it may be retained for the duration of the proceedings.

Fingerprints are usually scanned electronically from the individual in custody and the images stored on IDENT1, the national fingerprint database.

For Scotland, the legal acquisition, retention, weeding and use of DNA and Fingerprint data is outlined in Sections 18 to 19C of the Criminal Procedure (Scotland) Act 1995 - https://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/1995/46/part/II/crossheading/prints-and-samples

Published 01/01/2019
Authoring body: Home Office
Policy
Resource
Website and application accessibility regulations and guidance

Public sector organisations need to think about accessibility at every stage and ensure they meet the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG 2.1) design principles. The Public Sector Bodies (Websites and Mobile Applications) Accessibility Regulations 2018 are now active and applicable to all public sector organisations, including policing, and this guidance has been created to support organisations meeting the requirements for all new and existing websites or applications.

The guidance is split into several sections:

1. Decide how to check the accessibility problems on your website or mobile app
2. Make a plan to fix any accessibility problems
3. Publish your accessibility statement
4. Make sure new features are accessible

The main theme throughout is that accessibility should be considered on how people with impairments to their sight, hearing, movement, memory or thinking may use the website/app. Regular tests should be carried out from the point code writing even through the public beta stage and at every time a new feature is added.

The best way to meet accessibility requirements is to:

  • think about accessibility requirements from the commencement

  • run accessibility tests regularly throughout development

  • get a formal accessibility audit before you go into public beta

  • make sure the service works with the most common assistive technologies - screen readers or speech recognition software

  • test the service with disabled users and with older users

Legislation link: https://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2018/852/contents/made

Published 01/01/2019
Authoring body: Government Digital Services (GDS)
Guidance
Resource
Digital Investigation & Intelligence APP

The digital policing learning programme was created to for officers and staff to update their knowledge regarding digital intelligence and investigation. The programme helps explains the use and misuse of devices and applications and how they appear in the policing world. 

The programme’s aim is to ensure that all staff are:

  • confident facing situations where there is a digital element

  • competent in identifying and carrying out the actions required by those circumstances

  • able to ensure they are compliant in their actions.

The Digital Intelligence and Investigation project will deliver learning and knowledge resources that will ensure that all new and serving officers acquire the digital skills they need to undertake investigations effectively.  

Published 01/01/2020
Authoring body: College of Policing (CoP)
Guidance
Resource
Mobilisation APP

With the Police responding to critical and complex incidents, sometimes these incidents may require resources that go beyond the capacity and capability of the Police force. Some of these incidents may require the need of other partner agencies, other specialist skillsets and equipment and thus would need to be effectively managed and coordinated. Mobilisation is the process which supports mutual aid, at the local, regional or national level.

The National Police Coordination Centre (NPoCC) is responsible for the mobilisation of police assets, including general policing, operations and crime business areas. A lead force will be responsible for resourcing nationally-led crime enquiries. NPoCC should be the initial point of contact for any mobilisation requirements as it can provide advice and national coordination.

It is important to note that this a challenging area of work, particularly when the length of the investigation is unknown and mobilising crime assets is a new and emerging business field (mutual aid) for the Police service.

Published 01/01/2014
Authoring body: College of Policing (CoP)
Guidance
Resource
ISO 17020:2012 Requirements for the operation of various types of bodies performing inspection (Crime Scene Investigation)

ISO/IEC 17020:2012 specifies requirements for the competence of bodies performing inspection and for the impartiality and consistency of their inspection activities. Within policing this covers both traditional wet forensic work and digital forensic work carried outside of the laboratory environment, most typically at crime scenes.

Published 01/03/2012
Authoring body: International Standards Organisation (ISO)
Standards
Resource
ISO/IEC 27003:2017 Information Technology — Security techniques — Information Security Management Systems — Guidance

ISO (the International Organisation for Standardisation) and IEC (the International Electrotechnical Commission) form the specialised system for worldwide standardisation. National bodies that are members of ISO or IEC participate in the development of International Standards through technical committees established by the respective organisation to deal with particular fields of technical activity. In the field of information technology, ISO and IEC have established a joint technical committee, ISO/IEC JTC 1.

This document was created to provide guidance on the requirements for an information security management system (ISMS) and provides recommendations, possibilities and permissions.

The following areas are very important for ISMS:

  • understanding the organisation’s needs and the necessity for establishing information security policy and information security objectives;

  • assessing the organisation's risks related to information security;

  • monitoring and reviewing the performance and effectiveness of the ISMS

  • practising continual improvement

The ISMS also has key components such as policies, defined responsibilities, documentation and management processes pertaining to policy establishment, planning, implementation, operation, performance assessment, management review and improvement.

Published 01/01/2017
Authoring body: International Organisation for Standardisation (ISO)
Standards