Freedom of Information

The Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (FOIPPA) establishes a process by which any individual can request access to information contained in records in the custody or control of the Surrey Police Board. The Surrey Police Board’s Freedom of Information and Privacy section ensures that the Surrey Police Board is in compliance with British Columbia’s Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (“FOIPPA”) and other related Acts. 

The Act provides two basic rights for members of the public: 

  1. Gives individuals rights to request copies of Surrey Police Board records and receive them in a timely manner. 
  2. Protects privacy by placing restrictions on the Surrey Police Board when collecting or disclosing personal information.  

The Act is applicable to all records in the custody and control of the Surrey Police Board, subject to exceptions provided for in the Act. 

Some information may be routinely available to the public. Before making a formal request for information, try contacting the Surrey Police Board to determine if the information you are seeking is publicly available or routinely released. The Act is not intended to replace existing means of obtaining information. 

It is also important to note that the Freedom of Information process is not a method to request that Surrey Police Board staff research a particular topic. The Surrey Police Board does not have researchers on stand-by and any requests for the production of a significant amount of records, or involving a significant amount of staff time, will likely result in the Surrey Police Board providing you with a quote for services and requesting a deposit prior to any work being completed. 

 

Requesting Information

A request to access records under FOIPPA must be made in writing. Complete the FOI Request Form to request a copy of Surrey Police Board records. 

Requests may be mailed to: 13450 104 Avenue, Surrey, BC  V3T 1V8 

It may also be emailed to: FOI@surreypoliceboard.ca

Phone number: 604-591-4460
Fax number: 604-501-7578

Please ensure that the FOI Request Form is as specific as possible. Provide any case numbers, exact dates, addresses, names, numbers, or officer-related information so that we can conduct an accurate search of the requested information.

 

Identity Verification

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. This can be requested at the time of your request submission or prior to the release of requested information. 

 

Information That Will Not Be Provided

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 redact that information from the record. 

If the record you request contain sensitive law enforcement information that could harm a law enforcement matter if released, we are not obligated to release that portion of the requested record. 

FOIPPA contain exemptions that may be considered depending on the nature of the request. Whenever information is redacted or severed from requested records, we will provide explanations as outlined in FOIPPA.

 

Response Times

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. 

 

Is there any Fee for an FOI request? 

Section 75 of the Act provides that the Surrey Police Board may charge a fee for certain limited costs of providing applicants with records. If there are costs involved in processing a formal request, the applicant will be provided with a fee estimate before the application is fully processed. 

 

Freedom of Information requests for Surrey Police 

The Surrey Police Board only handles FOI requests for records held by the Surrey Police Board. Please be advised the Surrey Police Board does not have access to police records. Please contact the Surrey RCMP Disclosure Unit at 604-599-7730 or email them at surrey_disclosure_desk@rcmp-grc.gc.ca  regarding access to the requested records.

 

What to do if you have a concern about the way your request for information was handled or processed

Sometimes a request for information is subject to exceptions under the Act. If you are not satisfied with our response to your request we first suggest you contact us to address your concerns and if you are still not satisfied you may contact the Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner for British Columbia. 

The first step is to attempt to resolve your complaint directly with the Surrey Police Board. Submit your complaint in writing directly to the Surrey Police Board Privacy Officer. Provide as much detail as you can in order to assist them to understand the nature of your complaint. Give the Surrey Police Board at least 30 business days to respond. 

If you are still unsatisfied with how the Surrey Police Board addressed your complaint, you can make a complaint to the Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner for British Columbia.

The Commissioner is an independent Officer of the Legislature of British Columbia who monitors how public bodies respond to your requests for access to information and how they protect the privacy of your personal information.

The Commissioner ensures that your rights under the Act are protected and that disputes are resolved in a fair and unbiased manner. 

For more information about the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act and other Acts, please visit the Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner for British Columbia.