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Freedom of Information

The Freedom of Information Act is designed to encourage public organisations to be more open.

It came into force in January 2005 and allows anyone, no matter who they are or where they live, to make a request for information.

The act works in conjunction with the Data Protection Act. This means only information found to be suitable for public knowledge can be released.

Making a request

You can make a freedom of information request, also known as an FOI request, using our online form or by letter, fax or e-mail.

Requests do not have to mention the act or follow any specific guidelines but they must be legible and include your name and address and a detailed description of what information you require.

We are unable to accept requests made by mobile phone text message.

You should send your request to:

Freedom of Information Officer/Information Access Officer
Information Compliance Office
Essex Police, PO Box 2
Springfield, Chelmsford, Essex CM2 6DA

We do our best to help people who are not able to submit their own written requests. If you require assistance please call 01245 452406 or 01245 452647 and ask to speak to either the Freedom of Information Officer or Information Access Officer.

You can also contact us by fax on 01245 45225 or e-mail

Our response

Once we have received your request we have twenty working days in which to respond. However this can be extended in certain circumstances where the public interest is being considered.

A request can be rejected on the basis that it will be too costly to process if it is anticipated that the time spent to locate and collate the information required will exceed 18 hours of work (e.g, two and a half working days).

Publication schemes

The Freedom of Information Act requires Essex Police to tell you about some of the information we hold.

Guidelines set by the Information Commissioner’s Office outline the sorts of information we should provide to you on our website.

This means you might find the information you’re looking for without having to make a Freedom of Information Request.

To help you find the answer to your question we’ve set up a number of quick links explaining who we are, what we do, what we spend and our priorities and procedures. This is known as a publication scheme.

We’ve also put together a number of links to other websites for more information about policing in the UK.

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