CMA regularly reviews the PNC LoS register to determine whether a VRM is recorded ‘Lost or Stolen’ – a process originally designed to reduce our insurer client’s storage charges, but which has other benefits.
By way of example, in an increasingly common situation, we informed an insured their vehicle had been found before the police did. Understandably, the insured was incredulous about our disclosure, so we wrote to the ‘service’:
‘Dear Police Constabulary
It appears the above VRM is no longer recorded as ‘lost or stolen’ (LoS) on the Police National Computer (PNC) suggesting it has been recovered. Please advise:
1. the date of recovery
2. the vehicle’s location – if in storage, the name, address (to include postcode) phone number and email address of the party in possession of the vehicle.
3. the vehicle’s condition i.e., whether damaged or possibly drivable
4. whether keys were recovered with the vehicle
5. whether the vehicle has been ‘released’ i.e., it may be recovered. We wish to ensure the owner is reunited with the vehicle asap and that storage costs are kept to a minimum.
6. whether any arrests were made or there are any suspects*
*Please consider a Compensation Order in favour of our client
We have notified the insured the VRM has been removed from PNC LoS however they appear to be unaware and are questioning our statements.’
‘If you require further information, please visit the [redacted] Police website and submit a Freedom of Information request.’
CMA bemusement … we could utilise the FoIA and wait up to 20 working days for information, but it appeared odd to refer us to this Act for what may be considered personal information, more so that we were seeking to help victims – insured and their insurer.
We queried the reply.
Common Sense. A supervisor responded to the officer ‘Yes, they can be informed’. The 6 questions above were answered.
Nice to see sound judgement and assistance. We are, after all, both seeking to achieve the same goal: ‘To offer support to victims of crime within our communities by expediting the finalisation of their insurance claim.’*
If you wish to utilise the above process, be our guest.
03/10/2023, we asked a constabulary the above 6 questions …
12/10/2023, they replied demanding payment (£152?) to provide the information:
Please be advised that before sharing information outside the Police service it must first be determined whether a statutory purpose exists for that information sharing. Where the Police are requested to share information, the agency receiving the information must identify a legal power that allows them to lawfully request and process such information. In order for us to consider your request please could you complete and return the attached West Yorkshire Police Data Protection Request Form to [redacted] which will provide the legislation which enables us to disclose this information to you. Please be aware that the Chief Constable must still be assured that the Human Rights Act and the governing principles of the Data Protection Act 2018 will not be breached by providing the information.
Please ensure all sections of the form are complete or it will be returned to you, delaying your request.
[redacted] Police Data and Information Management team have recently reviewed our cost recovery charging for requests for information for a non-policing purpose. The fees have been amended to be in line with the NPCC Charging Standards.
As of 1st October 2010, and under the Association of Police and Crime Commissioner (APCC), [redacted] Police began charging organisations for the provision of police data under the above, where disclosure is required by third parties outside of core policing requirements. The ability for Police Forces to charge is captured by statutory provisions and in particular under Section 18 of the Police Act 1996 – supply of goods and services. The Force intends to provide a common and comprehensive charging methodology that will allow for a transparent and consistent approach which will benefit both the users of police services and the service itself.
In order for us to process your request, the Force will require an initial, non-refundable administrative fee which is dependent on the information that you require. Details regarding this can be found on attached form. Only upon full receipt of payment will the Force consider disclosing information.
We have asked:
03/10/2023, we sought information in relation to the recovery. We did so as the insured [redacted] had not notified us that the vehicle had been found, it did not appear you had notified him that the vehicle was no longer stolen.
Please confirm that, to advise the whereabouts of a recovered vehicle, to enable parties to be reunited, keep costs to a minimum, your constabulary charges the insurer/victim
30/10/2023 – the above constabulary, advised :
I apologise for the delay in you receiving a response.
Your request has been incorrectly logged within our Unit.
Please be advised that your email was forwarded to the Officer in the Case on 25th October 2023, as we are unable to advise on the recovery of vehicles.