Freedom of Information and the Publication Scheme

The Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) 2000 was implemented on 1 January 2005. The Act aims to make organisations like the police service more accountable to the public, giving a better understanding of how public authorities carry out their duties, make their decisions and spend public money. 

Under the FOIA, public authorities have a duty to adopt and maintain a Publication Scheme. 

The Information Commissioner has introduced a new Model Publication Scheme which has been applied to all public authorities from 1 January 2009.

Definition document for the Model Publication Scheme for police forces

The Model Publication Scheme includes a commitment from the public authority to:

  • Proactively publish or otherwise make available as a matter of routine information, including environmental information, which is held by the authority and falls within the classifications below.

  • Specify the information held by the authority that falls within the classifications below.

  • Proactively publish or otherwise make available, as a matter of routine, information in line with the statements contained within this scheme.

  • Produce and publish the methods by which the specific information is routinely made available so it can be easily identified and accessed by members of the public.

  • Review and update on a regular basis the information the authority makes available under this scheme.

  • Produce a schedule of any fees charged for access to information which is made available proactively.

  • Make this Model Publication Scheme available to the public.

The Information Commissioner has also published a series of definition documents specific to each public sector. 

This document provides guidance to police forces as to the type of information they should consider publishing. Some police forces may not hold all the information listed in the guidance and there is no obligation under the new scheme to create information that is not already held. This may lead to variations in published information between forces.

The Guide to Published Information

Northumbria Police is committed to delivering an open and transparent service and we intend to publish information in our Publication Scheme which the public has an interest in seeing. 

It is designed to let you know what information and publications are currently available from Northumbria Police.

Please see the attached 'Guide to Published Information' document which identifies where information is available on the website and provides a link to the correct page on the website. 

You can access the Model Publication Scheme  to find out more (valid from June 2010).

If you have any queries about the Model Publication Scheme please contact the Freedom of Information team on 101 ext 49445 or 49446.

Northumbria Police receive approximately 900 Freedom of Information requests a year.  The answer to your query may have been responded to previously and published. Check our Disclosure Log which shows requests disclosed since January 2010.

Where the information you are seeking is not available online, apply in writing to: 

Disclosure Section 
Northumbria Police 
4th Floor Cobalt Business Exchange 
Cobalt Business Way 
Newcastle upon Tyne 
NE28 9NZ

Or email:

When asking for information please include the following details:

  • Your name and address.

  • The information or documents you would like to access.

  • The way you want the information sent to you - hard copy or email.

  • Contact telephone number - this is optional but could be helpful if we need to clarify your request.

  • Specific mention of the Freedom of Information Act in a request is not a requirement, but doing so will provide absolute clarity when the request is received.

Depending on the nature of your request a fee may be payable. 

To ensure public interest issues are fully considered, all applications for information will be considered on a case by case basis in accordance with the requirements of the Act. 

Please note: under the Freedom of Information Act we have 20 working days to respond to your request for information.