Police open ‘information door’ to public

Detailed information about the Police Service of Northern Ireland and how it does business is to be made more widely and readily available to members of the public.

The move has been prompted by legislative requirements and forms a part of the PSNI’s policy for openness, transparency and accountability. The Freedom of Information Act 2000 requires all public bodies, including the Police Service, to adopt and maintain a publication scheme which gives information to the public about who the police are, what their policies, aims and objectives are, how decisions are made and how police are performing.

Assistant Chief Constable Roy Toner, who is in charge of the initiative, said: “The law is clear: from January 2005, anyone who makes a request to PSNI for information must be told whether the Service holds such information and, with certain exceptions, must be supplied with that information. Those exceptions will include requests for information about criminal investigations, past or present, and about matters of national security.

“However, in the spirit of openness and transparency, to which we are committed, we will continue to supply as much information to the public as we can unless we are restricted by other legislation. We are committed to providing equal access to information for everyone. Information will be made available on request in accessible formats, such as Braille, large print and in minority ethnic languages for those not fluent in English.”

The main purpose of this publication scheme will be to ensure that a significant amount of information about policing is available to the public, without the need for a specific request. It will include:
  • Details of organisational structure and key personnel, including their area of responsibility and how to contact them;
  • Information on the strategic aims, objectives and plans of the Service;
  • Copies of the three most recent annual reports;
  • Minutes of the open section of the Chief Constable’s Forum, the organisation’s key policy-making meeting;
  • Corporate policies, some parts of which, such as police tactics, may be exempt;
  • Details of performance against objectives.
An Information Commissioner, who will regulate both the Freedom of Information and Data Protection Acts, will enforce the provisions of the Act.

Information will be available on the PSNI website at www.psni.police.uk from June 30 2003, and all information included under the PSNI Publication Scheme will also be available free of charge as a hard copy.


Related Northern Ireland News Stories
Click here for the latest headlines.

04 May 2021
David Savage Appointed New Governor Of Maghaberry Prison
A new Governor of Maghaberry Prison has been appointed. The Northern Ireland Prison Service (NIPS) selected David Savage as the new Governor and he took up the post on Monday 03 May having served as Deputy Governor at the Prison since 2019.
29 April 2013
Major Campaign To Be Launched To Increase Organ Donation
Health Minister Edwin Poots today announced that a major public information campaign would be launched to increase organ donation. He also confirmed that the public will be asked their views on ways to maximise the organs available including changing to an opt-out system. He said: "My overriding aim is to increase organ donation.
24 February 2010
Sydenham Bypass Set To Be Widened
The iconic Sydenham Bypass is to be upgraded. The NI Transport Minister, Conor Murphy has announced the improvements to the A2 Sydenham Bypass, in east Belfast. The Minister confirmed that on line widening of the existing Sydenham Bypass is the preferred option.
05 November 2009
Campaign Targets Sex Abuse
A major public information campaign to raise public awareness of sexual violence and abuse issues in Northern Ireland has just been launched Stormont Health Minister Michael McGimpsey and the NIO Justice Minister, Paul Goggins (pictured) welcomed the information campaign to tackle sexual violence and abuse.
26 July 2004
Minister welcomes launch of emergency procedures leaflet
NIO Minister Angela Smith has welcomed today's Home Office announcement that every home in Northern Ireland is to receive a leaflet informing them of what to do in the event of an emergency. The leaflet 'Preparing for Emergencies, what you need to know' is part of a Government public information campaign which will run over the next four weeks.