An independent body has heaped praise on Bedfordshire Police for the way it manages important information.
The force, which manages tens of thousands of pieces of information a year, is one of only two nationwide to receive the top ‘High Assurance’ rating from the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) following an audit of the way it processes personal data.
It scrutinised processes for managing paper and electronic records of everything from crime reports to statements and controls to monitor the creation, maintenance, storage, movement, retention and destruction of personal data.
The audit also examined procedures for dealing with requests from the public to access their personal data and controls to ensure the sharing of personal data complies with the Data Protection Act.
The ICO was set up to uphold information rights in the public interest, promoting openness by public bodies and data privacy for individuals.
The audit report says: “The purpose of the audit is to provide an independent assurance of the extent to which Bedfordshire Police, within the scope of this agreed audit, is complying with the Data Protection Act. There is a high level of assurance that processes and procedures are in place and are delivering data protection compliance.”
Chief Information Officer Andy Gilks said: “Bedfordshire Police is delighted to receive such an excellent report, since it reflects our efforts to be a high performing, efficiently run police service which is dedicated to protecting people and fighting crime.”