Requesting information: the Freedom of Information Act

We are aware that there are websites and publications that claim that you may be able to avoid receiving a penalty or fine if you ask for certain documents using the Freedom of Information (FOI) Act. We are happy to provide this information and some examples are shown below, along with our replies and copies of the information requested available for you to download.

Can you provide written details of your procedures for the use of mobile speed cameras and/or laser speed detectors?

We follow the Guide for the Operational Use of Speed and Red-Light Offence Detection Technology (pdf) published by ACPO.

Can you provide the calibration and maintenance records of the equipment?

You can download calibration certificates for cameras used by the Surrey police from 2010 to the present. Annual calibration is not a condition of type approval. The accuracy and reliability of speed meters are guaranteed by the secondary check or by the supportive opinion of a constable and the device's self-test facility. Annual calibration is carried out but not a legal requirement.

Can you provide the training record of the officer concerned in the use of this equipment or a copy of his certificate of competence?

There are dedicated mobile enforcement officers working full time for the Surrey Police Safety Camera Unit who are all trained in the use of the equipment. You can view their certificates here.

Can you provide documentation that the site used was totally suitable for this type of equipment and free from any type of contamination?

It is a requirement that the equipment we use conforms to Home Office Type Approval for use in road traffic enforcement, the details of which can be obtained from the Home Office. There is no legal requirement for individual sites to be tested for contamination, as type approved equipment has been tested and approved for use on any road. Therefore we do not hold any such documentation.

Please could you provide a copy of the photographic evidence related to my alleged offence?

Not as a matter of routine. We are unable to provide photographs relating to individual offences if requested under the FOI Act as this is personal information relating to an individual and their involvement in an alleged offence. Any information released under the FOI Act must automatically be made available to anyone else upon request, therefore to release such photos under the FOI Act would be releasing personal information and against the Data Protection Act. We will consider releasing the photos only in exceptional cases to individuals in receipt of a notice of intended prosecution, and only if they are requested in writing, stating the reasons why they would like copies, without reference to the FOI Act.

If you wish to challenge the allegation in a magistrates’ court the photographs will form part of the Police evidence to support a prosecution in court and in such cases the defendant will be provided with photographs (as appropriate) as part of the normal court disclosure procedure. If convicted the magistrates will then decide on any fine or penalty points to be imposed and may increase the fine and points, and you may also be ordered to pay court costs.

Making an FOI Request

If the information you are interested in is not included above and you would like to make a request for information then use the following links to submit an FOI request to Surrey police or Surrey County Council.