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Privacy Notice: General Correspondence and Complaints

Personal data obtained from general correspondence from members of the public and handling complaints against the Chief Constable, the PCC, the Deputy PCC (if appointed) and OPCC staff.

If you contact us with a general query or a complaint against the Chief Constable, the PCC, the Deputy PCC (if appointed) or OPCC staff, you may provide the following information to us (either at the outset or during the course of our investigation of your complaint):

  • Identity data – name, gender, age, marital status, nationality.
  • Contact details data – address, email address, telephone number.
  • Family data – information about your family composition and dependants.
  • Special category data – racial or ethnic origin, mental and physical health, details of injuries or medication/treatment received, political beliefs, religious beliefs, trade union affiliation, genetic data and data concerning sexual life or orientation.

b. How do we collect your personal information?

We will collect information directly from you when you correspond with us by post, telephone, email, on social media or otherwise.

c. For what purposes do we use your personal information?

We will use your information to respond to your query or to investigate your complaint.  We will also keep an internal record of your information for monitoring reasons.

d. What is the legal basis for our use of your personal information?

The OPCC is a public authority and has certain powers and obligations.  The lawful basis on which we will process your personal data is in the exercise of our official authority and/or in performance of a task in the public interest.  We rely on this legal basis generally when processing your personal information after receiving general correspondence and/or complaints against OPCC staff.

In relation to processing complaints against the Chief Constable, our specific legal duty can be found in the Police Reform & Social Responsibility Act 2011 and the Police Reform Act 2002.

In relation to processing complaints against the PCC and the DPCC, the Chief Executive is delegated by the Police and Crime Panel to undertake the initial handling of complaints made against the PCC and DPCC which relate to conduct and/or are serious complaints of a criminal nature.  The specific legal duty can be found in the Elected Local Policing Bodies (Complaints and Misconduct) Regulations 2012.

e. On what basis do we use special category data?

The OPCC may sometimes process data about you which is sensitive, known as special category data (as detailed above).

Special category data requires higher levels of protection and we have to have a further justification for collecting, storing and using this type of personal data.

We will only process this type of data during the course of our investigation of your query or complaint on the basis that either:

  • you have provided your explicit written consent; or
  • it necessary for reasons of substantial public interest; or
  • it is necessary for the establishment, exercise or defence of legal claims; or
  • the information has been made public by you; or
  • it is necessary to protect your vital interests; or
  • it is necessary for archiving purposes in the public interest, scientific or historical research purposes or statistical purposes.

We may need to approach you for written consent to allow processing of certain sensitive personal data.  In these circumstances, you will be provided with full details of the personal data that is required and why it is needed, to allow you to carefully consider whether you wish to consent.

f. Who will we share your personal information with?

We will only share your personal data with third parties if it is necessary to resolve your query or complaint.  We may share your personal data with the Police where we are legally required to do so.  We may also share your personal data with the Police if there is a safeguarding concern; the Independent Office of Police Conduct (IOPC) if a complaint requires a mandatory referral or to seek appropriate advice; or to the Police and Crime Panel if a complaint is recorded against the PCC or a DPCC if in post.

g. How long will we keep your personal information?

If you have contacted us with a general query, we will keep your personal data for 3 years after the final response to an enquiry or comment.

If you have contacted us with a complaint, we will keep your data for 7 years from the resolution of your complaint (or in respect of complaints against the PCC, 7 years from the end of his/her appointment).

For more information about how long we hold personal data, see our Records Management and Retention Policy.

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