Crown Prosecution Service and FOI

According to a press release issued by the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS), figures released by the Department for Constitutional Affairs show that the CPS responds in good time to the vast majority of Freedom of Information requests. As regards the percentage of resolvable requests granted in full, most requests have been for information contained within current or recently completed prosecutions.

The CPS states that information held for a criminal investigation or criminal proceedings which the CPS conducts, or information where disclosure would prejudice law enforcement or the administration of justice can be exempt under the FOIA.

"Many individuals who make requests to the CPS ask for information about themselves under the FOIA. There is an exemption which diverts these requests into the Data Protection Act procedures and the CPS has seen a large rise in the number of applications under this legislation.
Other exemptions most often used by the CPS relate to information held for a criminal investigation or criminal proceedings; personal information where the applicant is not the subject of the information and release would breach the Data Protection Act; information obtained from another where disclosure would be an actionable breach of confidence; and information protected from disclosure by legislation or an EC obligation."

Freedom of Information statistics (Crown Prosecution Service website, 30 September 2005)