Freedom of information request

Under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (FoIA), you can request access to recorded information held by Avon Fire & Rescue Service (AF&RS). You can read about how we handle requests for information below, further information can be found in our Freedom of Information policy

Before making a request 

We have adopted the Information Commissioner’s Office publication model and publish information on a range of topics on our website. We would recommend checking our publication scheme first before making an information request. 

If you have been unable to find the information you need on our website, you can make a request for information by submitting the form below, by email to [email protected] or in writing to the following address: 

Data Protection Team 
Avon Fire & Rescue Service 
Police & Fire Headquarters 
PO Box 37 
Valley Road 
BS20 8JJ 

Information we need to handle your request 

  • Full name and a postal or email address; 
  • Clear description of what information you are requesting including dates if applicable; 
  • The format you would like to receive the information in. 

When handling your Freedom of Information request, we will:

  • respond to all requests as fully as we are able; 
  • respond in writing (letter or email) to requests for information within 20 working days; 
  • contact you as soon as possible to clarify any part of your request if it is unclear; 
  • inform you in advance if your request will incur a charge; 
  • treat all requests for information equally; 
  • only provide information if it is already held by us (under the Act we are not obliged to generate new information in order to satisfy a request); 
  • only provide information that is accurate/factual (and therefore are unable to respond to requests that are seeking an opinion); 
  • provide an explanation if we are unable to provide information and only withhold information when there is a good reason or when regulations (exemptions within the Act) allow it; 
  • advise you what steps you can take if you are unsatisfied with how we have handled your request; and 
  • retain all request correspondence for the current financial year plus 3 years.  Once any correspondence has reached its retention period, it will be securely disposed.  We do retain a Requests Log for our records. 

We will always explain why we have withheld information. Here are some common reasons why we may do this: 

  • Personal information that is covered by the Data Protection Act or by releasing information may pose a risk of identifying an individual. 
  • Information that is already in the public domain and is easily accessible by other means, such as information that is already published on our website and by other government websites. 
  • Protecting the Service and wider society against potential crime should the publishing of our information regarding, for example, how we operate and protect our systems fall into the hands of those with malicious intent. 
  • Unreasonable or vexatious requests, whereby AF&RS would have to expend a disproportionate amount of resources to meet a request for information. 
  • Processing of a request would be in excess of the 18 hours set for local authorities (which equates to staff costs of £450) processing time as set out in the FOIA. 

When it is not clear if information should be released, we are expected to apply the public interest test. This says that our decision to release or restrict data should depend on whether its release is beneficial to the public or not. This involves weighing up all the circumstances, the exclusion of the duty to confirm or deny existence of the document, against the public interest in disclosing the holding of the information. You can visit the Information Commissioners website for further guidance on this. 

Make an FOI request

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