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Exemptions
When an FOI request is made, we will adopt the spirit of the legislation and look to release 
the information.  
However, there will be occasions where exemptions contained within the Act must be applied.  
The purpose of these exemptions is to assist the Police Service in protecting information that, 
if released, may have a negative impact on our ability to fulfil our core functions of law 
enforcement, crime prevention and the protection of life.  The information below is a high level 
summary of the exemptions provided  within the Act. Full guidance on the individual 
exemptions and how they should be applied can be found on the Information Commissioner’s 
website, www.ico.gov.uk
There are 23 exemptions included under the FOIA.  The exemptions are classified as either 
‘absolute’ or ‘qualified’.  
Where an absolute exemption applies, no release is required under Freedom of Information 
legislation.  
Where a qualified exemption applies, the public interest test must be considered.  The public 
interest test requires a public authority deciding whether it serves the interests of the public 
either to disclose the information or to maintain an exemption in respect of the information 
requested.  To reach a decision, a public authority must carefully balance opposing factors, 
based on the particular circumstances of the case.  Where factors are equally balanced, the 
information must be disclosed.  In such circumstances, it may be appropriate for the 
Constabulary to take additional time in order to consider the balance of public interest, and if 
this is the case we will inform the requestor.  Please see the Information Commissioner’s 
Guidance on “time-limits for considering the public interest” for further details:
http://www.ico.gov.uk/upload/documents/library/freedom_of_information/detailed_specialist_g
uides/foi_good_practice_guidance_4.pdf

The complete list of exemptions is as follows:
Section 21 - Information accessible to applicant by other means - Absolute
Disclosure of information is exempt information if it is already in the  publication scheme or 
sourced from another eligible public body. 
Section 22 - Information intended for future publication - Qualified
Disclosure of information is exempt information if it has a clearly identified timeline for 
publication.
Section 23 - Information supplied by, or relating to, bodies  dealing with security 
matters - Absolute
If supplied by these bodies, applies irrespective of content.
INFORMATION ACCESS OFFICE, 
CAMBRIDGESHIRE CONSTABULARY HEADQUARTERS, HINCHINGBROOKE PARK, HUNTINGDON, 
PE29 6NP
Telephone: 0845 456 456 4 asking for Information Access Office, Fax: (01480) 428192, 
E-mail: xxx@xxxxx.xxx.xxxxxx.xx
Website : www.cambs.police.uk


Section 24 - National security - Qualified
Broader than Section 23.  Ministers of the Crown may certify exemptions.
Section 26 – Defence - Qualified
Disclosure of information is exempt information if it is prejudicial to the defence of the British 
Isles or the capability of related states/bodies.
Section 27(2) - International relations - Qualified
Foreign interests and relations between the UK and foreign states/bodies.
Section 28 - Relations within the UK - Qualified
Between any governmental and related UK bodies.
Section 29 - The Economy - Qualified
Disclosure of information is exempt information if it protects the economic interests and some 
of the major administrators within the UK. 
Section 30 - Investigations and proceedings conducted by the public authority -
Qualified
Disclosure of information is exempt information if it relates to investigations by an Authority 
with a view to bringing criminal or civil proceedings or if it relates to information from 
confidential sources.
Section 31 - Law Enforcement - Qualified
Disclosure of information is exempt information if it would be likely to prejudice the prevention 
and detection of crime, the apprehension or prosecution of offenders or the administration of 
justice.
Section 32 - Court records - Absolute
Disclosure of information is exempt information if it is created by, in custody of, or served on 
public bodies by a court.
Section 33 - Audit functions - Qualified
Disclosure of information is exempt information if it relates to accounts audit or economic 
impact studies. 
Section 34 - Parliamentary privilege - Absolute
Removes the duty to confirm or deny.  Houses of Parliament can certify exempt material.
Section 35 - Formulation of government policy - Qualified
Includes Ministerial communications, private office operations, advice of Law Officers 
excludes background research.  
Section 36 - Prejudice to the effective conduct of public affairs - Qualified
Applicability decision must be taken by a “qualified person” defined to include Ministers and 
heads of government departments.
INFORMATION ACCESS OFFICE, 
CAMBRIDGESHIRE CONSTABULARY HEADQUARTERS, HINCHINGBROOKE PARK, HUNTINGDON, 
PE29 6NP
Telephone: 0845 456 456 4 asking for Information Access Office, Fax: (01480) 428192, 
E-mail: xxx@xxxxx.xxx.xxxxxx.xx
Website : www.cambs.police.uk


Section 37 - Communication with Her Majesty etc and honours - Qualified
Relates to communication with the Royal Family or information on the conferring of honours. 
Section 38 - Health & safety - Qualified
Disclosure of information is exempt information which would be likely to endanger the
physical or mental health of any individual, or endanger the safety of any individual.
Section 39 - Environmental information - Qualified
Applies to information covered in other legislation.
Section 40 - Personal information - Absolute
Information falling within the scope of Data Protection legislation is excluded from disclosure 
via FOI.
Section 41 - Information provided in confidence - Absolute
To apply this exemption disclosure would have to result in an “actionable” breach of 
confidence.
Section 42 - Legal professional privilege - Qualified
Disclosure of information is exempt information if information is subject to legal professional 
privilege. 
Section 43(1) - Commercial interests - Qualified
Disclosure of information is exempt information if it  constitutes a trade secret, or likely to 
prejudice commercial interests of any party.  
Section 44 – Disclosure Prohibited by other legislation – Absolute
Information is exempt from disclosure if it is prohibited by any other enactment.
The above is only a summary of the exemptions and how they can be used. More detailed 
information about the types of exemption and how they should be used by a Public Authority 
can be found on the Information Commissioners website www.ico.gov.uk

INFORMATION ACCESS OFFICE, 
CAMBRIDGESHIRE CONSTABULARY HEADQUARTERS, HINCHINGBROOKE PARK, HUNTINGDON, 
PE29 6NP
Telephone: 0845 456 456 4 asking for Information Access Office, Fax: (01480) 428192, 
E-mail: xxx@xxxxx.xxx.xxxxxx.xx
Website : www.cambs.police.uk

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