Another interesting development regarding the use of injured pensioners data by Northumbria Police and complaints that have been made to the Information Commissioners Office (‘ICO’).
IODPA believe that a number of police pensioners have made similar complaints regarding their former force attempting to coerce them to hand over their private and sensitive data (medical notes).
Many of them have taken the step to complain to the ICO, who have now issued advice to them.
The complaints have been centred around consent being freely given when considering releasing medical notes, the retention of medical notes and Subject Access Requests. The upshot is, that it is “unlikely that NP are complying with the first principal of the Data Protection Act”, which states that personal data should be processed fairly and lawfully.
Please note, this is advice from the ICO as opposed to a formal decision notice and it is for individuals. We would imagine that the ICO would come to the same conclusion for any pensioner with a similar complaint, regardless of force.
Of course this is not the first time that the ICO have provide advice in relation to Northumbria Police – https://iodpa.org/2017/11/24/northumbria-police-federation-wins-ico-advice-notice/
If you believe your data is being processed unfairly, please get in touch with the ICO – https://ico.org.uk/
14 thoughts on “More ICO advice for Northumbria Police”
So it seems that the ICO doesn’t believe that NP fulfilled their obligations. Not submitting any information to a SAR for 6months is absolutely outrageous. I would like to see the ICO imposing serious fines against the forces and then and only then we may see a change in ones approach to rentention of data.
It’s about time the ICO put its teeth back in and bites the non compliers from 25 May it will have the legislation to savage the Police Authorities under GDPR. The PPA’s and their cronies SMP’s included will only listen when it is THEIR pocket that is being emptied and their employment is on the line!
If any company was using the tactics which police services are currently utilising then I’m certain that a complaint to the police about bullying, harassment, coercion, threatening behaviour, plus much more, would be picked up on, particularly when the IP is a vulnerable adult. So why, oh why is it that in this situation the police services think that it is above the law, it doesn’t apply to them or worse still they can rewrite the law to suit themselves? Unfortunately some police services appear to be full of criminals but Right will win.
How many more times is the ICO going to have to tell Forces about their standards, before they get the message. Or is it a case that, ‘we have tried that way & failed, can we get away with it another way”?
They should and no doubt will apply to all forces, although I can hear some squealing, “it’s only applying to X force, not us”.
Whatever sneaky way they try, I’m sure that IODPA will be there to support IOD’s and to ensure that forces apply the Regs lawfully.
So lets hope that other forces who continue to follow a similar line are made aware of this. Why do they continue to make mistakes in this way and pose threats to retired officers? Do they really think it appropriate to threaten with a loss of pension to complete a form that they have no legal right to request. By all means ask, don’t have a problem with a polite request, threatening is unacceptable in today’s enlightened society.
Thank You ICO for backing what the IODPA have been saying all along. I just wonder when will all the forces conducting reviews take notice of this and stop using bullying tactics on their IODs.
where an individual has no option but to consent to the processing of their personal data, it is unlikely that the consent has been freely given’. This therefore raises fairness concerns…’
‘we understand that the former officers are advised that their withdrawal of consent, or refusal of consent, may have the effect of halting the review process which could affect their injury award’( this has already been executed). This is in spite of third party information contained in their records…..( so this means information regarding your spouse and others’ personal sensitive information…)
Would any of us as family members want ‘our’ personal sensitive information in medical records released to a partner’s employer, read and discussed by HR junior staff et al….????
Disgusting and a blatant breach of DPA!
The narrative from IPC can be seen in the blog above.
The focus is upon ‘fair processing of information’: ‘who is the data controller?’ Who indeed at NP??? Is it being done so fairly and lawfully?
The ICO ask this so hopefully they will be able to provide answers.
Why don’t NP respond to requests in a timely fashion required by legislation and law? Is it that they believe they are above the law…….or are they trying to be a new breed of ‘trend setters’ We already know Northumbria Police have close links to the Home Office are they trying to impress them and set ‘new standards’ on how to deal with DPA issues along with their own interpretation on Police Injury Regs? Perhaps trying to create new and no doubt highly paid ‘new posts’ for certain HR staff et al in the process?
It is now time for the ICO to decide whether they are prepared to execute their powers……
Well done to the ICO for a fair and common sense approach to these complaints. For too long now, pensioners have been suffering at the hands of their forces, particularly regarding this nationwide problem of their medical notes. Forces trying to circumvent the Regs to suit their own purpose. Threatening to remove pensions, and even done it on a couple of occasions, because the former officers refused to hand over their private and sensitive data.
No longer can Injured and vulnerable pensioners be coerced into handing them across. The ICO were spot on when they state that consent must be done freely.
How freely is it when you get told, hand them over or face a cut in your monthly pension? Doesn’t leave people much option does it?
So if Northumbria do not abide by this advice notice, the next stage will possibly be an enforcement notice?
And it’s amazing how it is the same forces over and over again. Northumbria is nothing but consistent in how they treat their pensioners.
It is so shameful that Northumbria Police are yet again it would seem in trouble with the ICO. They constantly get it wrong and if it is correct that they are threatening Reg 33 for not providing medical records is absolutely illegal Reg 33 is for refusing to attend a medical revue NOT for medical records. Wirz and Co continue to get it all wrong they should collectively be taken to task. To pick on many seriously ill IOD’s As a way to claw back money is a disgrace Wirz hang your head in shame.
I think this should be opened into another area – the Human Rights Act 1998 – in particular Art 3 which encompasses the right to be free from “degrading treatment”. This is included along with the term torture but I would submit that constantly and consistently harassing injured officers could constitute torture – certainly of the mental kind.
In addition Art 8 requires a respect for the private and family life of an individual. Here again I submit that Northumbria are not doing so.
I think every facet of the law should be used to fight such outrageous behaviour on the part of police forces.
How much longer must disabled former police officers be subjected to the toxic mix of bullying tactics, abuses of the police injury pension Regulations and sheer vindictiveness displayed by this rogue police pension authority?
It is well known that Northumbria’s in-house solicitor Nicholas Wirz attempts to spread his erroneous opinions on the Regulations far and wide. Yet, his track record, and that of his compliant SMP, Dr Broome, demonstrate that this clumsy pair are a disaster. They just keep on getting it wrong. How many times does it take for a Chief Constable or a Police and Crime Commissioner to say, ‘Enough is enough.’ ?
I hope that all pensioners who have been affected by Northumbria’s actions make complaints to the Information Commissioner. And I hope the Commissioner decides to make an example of Northumbria by imposing a large fine. Heads should roll in Northumbria.
So the ICO think it “unlikely” Northumbria Police are complying with the first principle of the Data Protection Act, or put another way they are processing personal sensitive data unfairly, it follows then that they are also collecting it unlawfully. The first principle of the Data Protection Act is headed “The Data Protection Act requires you to process personal data fairly and lawfully.” If your collecting it unfairly, then it must follow your collecting it unlawfully.
This advice from the ICO will result in Northumbria police having to change the way they process your sensitive personal data for them to comply with the Data Protection Act. Until they do that, every pensioner who has handed over their personal sensitive data believing they had no other choice has had their information collected and subsequently processed unfairly. It must now be open to those pensioners reduced by NP using these unfair methods, such as threatening to use Regulation 33 against them if they dont hand over their medical records, to apply to the the PPA, or the PMAB, or the Chief Constable, for being unfairly, and therefore unlawfully reduced. I feel specialist solicitors dealing in Data protection Law are going to be very busy shortly. The Oxford English Dictionary show the word “Fairly” to mean Honestly and straightforwardly. In the interests of fairness I also show the meaning of the word “Unfair” – Not based on or behaving according to the principles of equality and justice.
p.s. I would donate my legal fees to The Police Dependants Trust, Care of Police Survivors and The IODPA…..
You must couldn’t make this up.
So this force, smaller than the Met, West Mids, GMP, seems to being getting it wrong again and again and again.
I would love to know how much the SMP is paid ? 100-150k plus, beats working in a busy GPs practice. Dr Broome and Northumbria keep getting it wrong, again and again and again Crudace, Simpson, Howarth, Fisher x 2. I know Dr Broome reduced all the pensioners and he was found wanting again and again and again.
A PMAB a few months ago went from a Band 4 reduction to a Band 1 back to Band 4.
There is an ET result pending linked to two pensioners.
Mr Wirz I’ll call on you in say 3 years and maybe you can pay me lots of £££ to defend the High Court cases and I can hold my head high knowing that I lost to right and the eminent Mr Lock QC.
I could also come and address NAMF. I am sure there will be attendees who I’ve beaten in the past.
Like other former injured officers I am transitioning into a career in the law.
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