This page explains how Essex Police obtains and uses information about people who apply via the force’s internet site for employment with Essex Police – the 'Recruitment System’. The information that is obtained by this process is referred to as their ‘personal information’.

‘Personal Data’ is defined under Section 1 of the Data Protection Act 1998. For ease of readers this document refers to the obtaining and use of personal data – Section 1 of the Act uses the term ‘processes’ to effectively cover any usage of personal data.

Another document – ‘How we use Personal Information’ – sets out Essex Police’s overall approach to obtaining and using personal information for all purposes; while this document provides additional detail specific to the force’s recruitment system.

The use and disclosure of personal information is governed in the United Kingdom by the Data Protection Act 1998 (‘the Act’). The Chief Constable of Essex Police is registered with the Information Commissioner as a ‘data controller’ for the purposes of the Act. As such he is obliged to ensure that Essex Police handles all personal information in accordance with the Act.

Essex Police takes that responsibility very seriously and takes great care to ensure that personal information is handled appropriately in order to secure and maintain individuals’ trust and confidence in the force.

1. Why do we obtain and use personal information for the recruitment system?

Essex Police obtains and uses personal information so that it can:

  1. Identify and communicate with prospective employees for posts within Essex Police;
  2. Identify and communicate with candidates for interview for posts within Essex Police;
  3. Assess the suitability of those candidates for employment with Essex Police, including using a vetting process;
  4. Use the information to form part of the personnel record of a successful candidate.
  5. Analyse the effectiveness and appropriateness of its recruitment processes.

In addition, personal information may be used for 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; rendering assistance to the public in accordance with force policies and procedures; and any duty or responsibility of the police arising from common or statute law.

2. Whose personal information do we obtain and use via the recruitment system?

Through the recruitment system process Essex Police obtains and uses personal information relating to the following:

  1. Prospective employees and candidates;
  2. Family and household members of prospective employees and candidates;
  3. Employers of prospective employees and candidates;
  4. Referees or those providing references of prospective employees and candidates.

3. What types of personal information do we handle via the recruitment system?

Through the recruitment system process Essex Police obtains and uses personal information including the following types:

  • Personal details such as name, address and biographical details;
  • Family, lifestyle and social circumstances;
  • Education and training details;
  • Employment details;
  • Financial details;
  • Racial or ethnic origin;
  • Physical or mental health or condition;
  • Offences (including alleged offences);
  • Criminal proceedings, outcomes and sentences;
  • Physical identifiers including DNA, fingerprints and other genetic samples;
  • Licenses or permits held;
  • Criminal Intelligence.

4. Where do we obtain personal information from for the recruitment system?

Essex Police obtains, through the recruitment system process, personal information from prospective employees and candidates as supplied by those individuals. In addition as part of the subsequent recruitment process, personal information relating to their creditworthiness is obtained from credit reference agencies for vetting purposes, reference information is provided by referees identified by them or previous employers, while personal information relating to their criminality (alleged or otherwise) is provided by other law enforcement agencies, and from existing Essex Police-held information.

5. How do we use personal information obtained for the recruitment system?

The personal information obtained through the recruitment system process and subsequent activity is handled in accordance with the Act. In particular we ensure that personal information is handled fairly and lawfully with appropriate justification. We strive to ensure that any personal information used by us or on our behalf is of the highest quality in terms of accuracy, relevance, adequacy and non-excessiveness, is kept as up-to-date as required, is protected appropriately, and is reviewed, retained and securely destroyed when no longer required. We also respect individuals’ rights under the Act.

6. How do we ensure the security of personal information obtained for the recruitment system?

Essex Police takes the security of all personal information under our control very seriously. We comply with the relevant parts of the Act relating to security, and seek to comply with the Association of Chief Police Officers’ Community Security Policy and relevant parts of the ISO27001 Information Security Standard.

We ensure that appropriate policy, training, technical and procedural measures are in place, including audit and inspection, to protect our manual and electronic information systems from data loss and misuse, and only permit access to them when there is a legitimate reason to do so, and then under strict guidelines as to what use may be made of any personal information contained within them. These procedures are continuously managed and enhanced to ensure up-to-date security.

Essex Police employs a commercial organisation, Assessment & Development Consultants Limited of Accolade House, The Guildway, Old Portsmouth Road, Guildford, Surrey, GU3 1LR to manage its recruitment system process. A ‘data processing contract’ exists between Essex Police and Assessment & Development Consultants Limited by which the latter is legally and contractually obliged to handle personal information obtained through the recruitment system process only in the manner directed and approved by Essex Police.

(A data processing contract is required by Paragraphs 11 & 12 of Part II of Schedule I of the Data Protection Act 1998).

7. Who do we disclose the recruitment system personal information to?

In order to carry out the purposes described under section 1 above, Essex Police may disclose some personal information provided by applicants to other police forces and credit reference agencies for vetting purposes, and to individuals providing references in support of any application.

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.

Essex 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.

In certain cases Essex Police will use third parties to provide education services.  Where you have provided your personal data to us for the purposes of the police constable recruitment process, Essex Police will provide your name, email address, and candidate ID to the third party.  This is to enable the confirmation of your identity while your application is processed.

If you have any concerns about the use of your data in this way, please contact our Business Centre on 01245 452833 or alternatively email [email protected]

8. How long does Essex Police retain personal information obtained for the recruitment system?

Essex Police keeps personal information as long as is necessary for the particular purpose or purposes for which it is held.

If you have registered in our candidate pool, your application will be held on record for a minimum of twelve months. You may remove your details at any time.

In the event that your application is unsuccessful, your details will be kept for a maximum of twelve months, after which time they will be confidentially destroyed, unless you agree for the information to be retained.

If your application is successful your personal information provided will form part of your personnel record with Essex Police, and will be retained by the force for a minimum of seven years after you leave Essex Police.

9. Monitoring

Essex Police may monitor or record and retain telephone calls, texts, emails and other electronic communications to and from the force in order to deter, prevent and detect inappropriate or criminal activity, to ensure security, and to assist the purposes described under section 1 above. Essex Police does not place a pre-recorded ‘fair processing notice’ on telephone lines that may receive emergency calls (including misdirected ones) because of the associated risk of harm that may be caused through the delay in response to the call.

10. Further Assistance

Any individual who required further information over the way Essex Police handles their personal information may contact our Senior Information Officers as below:

Telephone: 01245 452647
Email: [email protected]
Mail: Senior Information Officers, Essex Police HQ, PO Box 2, Chelmsford, CM2 6DA
Fax: 01245 452256

The Information Commissioner is the independent regulator responsible for enforcing the Act and can provide useful information about the Act’s requirements. The Information Commissioner’s Office may be contacted using the following:

Mail: The Information Commissioner’s Office,
Wycliffe House,
Telephone: 01625 545700