How we process your data

We recognise that we hold information that belongs to you and we have a legal commitment to keep your personal information safe.

The Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner and Wiltshire Police will:

  • Process your personal information in a way that is fair and lawful
  • Only hold, use or share your information for a legitimate purpose
  • Only process what is relevant and necessary for the purpose
  • Keep your personal data up-to-date
  • Keep your data for no longer than is absolutely necessary

Police and Crime Commissioner for Wiltshire and Swindon and Wiltshire Police records retention schedule

This is a list of the types of record held by the Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) and Wiltshire Police, it details why we keep them, how long they are retained, whether they need to be reviewed after a set period or can be "time" deleted. It is the responsibility of the departmental head within each business area to coordinate the management of their records in sync with this schedule.

Important notice:

Temporary change as of 14 January 2016 to Management of Police Information (MOPI)/National Police Chiefs Council (NPCC) retention guidelines

As part of the on-going Inquiries into Child Sexual Abuse and Undercover Policing currently being undertaken, Forces nationally have been instructed to ensure that all relevant documents (physical or electronic) are not altered or destroyed. As such, we will temporarily need to alter the usual MOPI/ ACPO retention guidelines.

A record is defined as "Any information created, received and maintained as evidence or information held by the PCC or Force in pursuance of its operational objectives, legal obligations or in the transaction of business".

The Retention Schedule provides consistent instructions for all staff that deal with records, and a formal policy for records retention and disposal. It is not, however, immutable and divergences from the schedule may be appropriate in certain circumstances.

Using the Retention Schedule

The Retention Schedule will be used as a point of reference in the day-to-day management of records. The most effective point in the life-cycle of any record at which to decide how long it should be retained, and for what reason, is when that record is created.

When creating a new paper record or electronic record this Retention Schedule will act as a guide to the conditions under which that Record should be managed, stored and ultimately disposed of.

Definition of Dispose - The removal of information from all police systems, justified through evaluation and review process or time based destruction (for certain MOPI groups) to the extent that it cannot be restored.

Definition of Review - To examine a person record, held for a policing purpose, and all associated records linked to it, to ensure there is a continuing policing purpose for holding them, that they are adequate, up to date and not excessive and that all records of personal data are compliant with the eight principals of the Data Protection Act 1998.

Guidance note

Criminal Procedure & Investigation Act 1996 (CPIA) - Code of Practice

The CPIA Code has established requirements for retaining information relevant to investigations for set periods of times. It states that the relevant information must be retained at least until:

  • A decision is taken whether to institute proceedings against a person for an offence;
  • The accused is convicted, acquitted or the prosecutor decides not to proceed with the case;
  • The convicted person is released from custody or hospital in those cases where a custodial sentence or hospital order is imposed;
  • Six months from the date of conviction in all other cases

Management of Police Information 2006 (MOPI)

The retention periods set out by the CPIA Code above are a minimum requirement. The retention requirements outlined by the Authorised Professional Practice (APP) on Information Management and the Management of Police Information (MOPI) Code of Practice will in most cases far exceed those imposed by the CPIA Code.

The presumption is in favour of the retention of police information/record(s) provided such a record is not excessive and is necessary for a policing purpose.

Records/information should therefore, still be retained for as long as it is necessary, irrespective of the CPIA requirement.



The Police and Crime Commissioner for Wiltshire and Swindon (PCC) is the controller of personal information held by the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner.

You can contact the PCC at [email protected] or by writing to:

London Road
SN10 2DN

The Chief Constable of Wiltshire Police is the controller of personal information held by the Wiltshire Police Force.

You can contact the Chief Constable online or by writing to: 

Chief Constable
Wiltshire Police
London Road
SN10 2DN

The Data Protection Officer for the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner and Wiltshire Police is Laura North.

Email: [email protected]

or write to:

Wiltshire Police
London Road
SN10 2DN

As an individual you have rights regarding your data:

The right to be informed

You have a right to be informed about how we collect, use, process, store share and secure your data.

Right of access

You have the right of access to your personal information in a format you can use, at no cost to you, and within 30 days.

Data protection legislation gives you the right to see personal information we hold about you. This is known as 'subject access'.

There are some exemptions to this right, but generally anyone making a request has the right to know whether we hold information about them and what this consists of.

The legislation also places a number of obligations on us about how we provide this information, and gives us a duty to provide advice or assistance to anyone seeking information (for example in order to explain what is readily available or to clarify what is wanted).

Make a subject access request

The right to complain

The right to lodge a complaint with the Information Commissioner's Office

Other rights

Unlike other organisations, not all the rights of the new data protection legislation can be applied in information processed for policing purposes.

The Law Enforcement Directive (LED) and Data Protection Act, 2018, set out requirements for processing personal data for law enforcement purposes, and also include exemptions to some of the rights.  Whether you can exercise each right will be dependent on the reason that we are processing your personal data. 

In certain circumstances you have the right to... forgotten

You have the right to have your details removed from our records, under certain circumstances.

This is not always possible, and depends on the reason we are keeping your data.

For more information on how to apply to have your biometric information deleted

...have your data rectified

You have a right to update your information and have any inaccuracies corrected.

...move and reuse your data

You have the right to move and reuse your data with other services who may need it.

...set restrictions on how your data is used

You have the right to set restrictions on how your data is used.

This is not always possible, and depends on the circumstances and the reason we are keeping your data.

...object to processing and direct marketing

You have the right to object to processing and direct marketing when there is no legitimate and or legal reason for it.

...stop automated decisions

You have the right to stop automated decisions being made about you and your personal information. compensated

You have the right to compensation where appropriate.


For more information on any of the above please email:

[email protected]