Freedom of Information Requests
Freedom of Information
The Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (the “Act”) establishes a process by which an individual can request access to information contained in records in the custody or control of Surrey Police Service, subject to certain exceptions.
The Act provides two basic rights for the public:
- Gives rights to request copies of records and receive them in a timely manner.
- Protects privacy by imposing restrictions when personal information is collected or disclosed.
The Act is not intended to replace existing means of obtaining information. Some information may already be publicly available. Before making a formal request for information, please search the Surrey Police Service’s website to determine if the information you are seeking has already been disclosed.
Requests for Surrey Police Service Records
A request to access information under the Act must be made in writing. To request records from the Surrey Police Service (SPS), please complete the SPS Request for Access to Records form. NOTE: This form is for SPS records requests ONLY, not the Surrey RCMP. (Surrey RCMP requests: Access to Information and Privacy (ATIP) Online or 604-599-0502).
You may make a request for records by mail or email as follows:
- Mail: Attention: Manager, Information & Privacy, Surrey Police Service, 13450 104 Avenue, Surrey, BC V3T 1V8
- Email: Attention: Manager, Information & Privacy, Surrey Police Service, FOI@surreypolice.ca (preferred)
Note: Under section 5 of the Act, a request for records must contain sufficient detail to enable the Surrey Police Service to identify the records sought. Please ensure your request is as specific as possible so an accurate search for the records can be conducted.
If you wish to access Surrey Police Board records, refer to the Surrey Police Board’s Freedom of Information page.
Requests for RCMP Police Records
To request RCMP police records, submit your request to the Access to Information and Privacy (ATIP) Online. To contact the Surrey RCMP directly, please call 604-599-0502.
If you request personal records about yourself, we must verify your identity to ensure the security of your personal information. You may be asked to produce government issue photo identification.
Information That Will Not Be Provided
The Act contains exceptions from disclosure that may apply depending on the nature and content of the records.
If the record(s) you request contain personal information about another individual and it would be an unreasonable invasion of that individual’s personal privacy to provide that information, we will sever (remove) that information from the record.
If the record(s) you request contain sensitive law enforcement information that could harm a law enforcement matter if released, we are not required to disclose that portion of the record.
Sections 12 – 22.1 of the Act contain further restrictions on disclosure. [Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (gov.bc.ca)]
Whenever information is severed from records, we will provide the reason(s).
We will respond to your request within 30 business days unless an extension for a further 30 days is required because the regular time limit is not sufficient to locate the records, or a third-party consultation is required before access can be granted.
Fees Payable for Requests
Section 75 of the Act permits Surrey Police Service to charge a fee for certain costs of providing records. If such costs are involved in processing a request, we will provide a fee estimate before the request is completed and will not release the records until full payment is made.
If you are not satisfied with the response to your request, we recommend you first contact us to address your concerns. Submit your complaint in writing to FOI@surreypolice.ca. Provide as much detail as you can to assist in understanding the nature of your complaint. It may take at least 30 business days to respond.
If you are still unsatisfied with how your complaint was handled, you can make a complaint to the Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner for British Columbia.
Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner for British Columbia
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org / Tel. (250) 387-5629 / Fax (250) 387-1696
PO Box 9038, Stn. Prov. Govt., Victoria, B.C. V8W 9A4
The Commissioner is an independent Officer of the Legislature of British Columbia who ensures your rights under the Act are protected and that disputes are resolved in a fair and unbiased manner The Commissioner monitors how public bodies respond to requests for access to information and how the privacy of your personal information is protected.
For more information about the Act and other applicable legislation, please visit the Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner for British Columbia.