South Wales Fire and Rescue Service (“SWFRS”) is committed to operating in an open and transparent manner.
However if the information you seek is not currently published on our website and you wish to make an information request, please see our Freedom of Information page. The Freedom of Information Act 2000 (“Act”) provides a general right of access to information held by Public Authorities, including SWFRS. The Environmental Information Regulations 2004 (“Regulations”) provide the public a general right of access to environmental information held by Public Authorities. These general rights of access are subject to some procedural and substantive limitations, for example when information is already available either through this website, or in some other way. The Act and Regulations cover any recorded information that is held by a Public Authority. Recorded information includes printed documents, computer files, letters, emails, photographs, and or video recordings.
The Act and Regulations do not give people access to their own personal data. Individuals have a right of access to personal data about them under the data protection laws and regulations as applicable in the United Kingdom – please see our Privacy Notice for more information.
SWFRS is entitled to charge for certain services by way of Section 18A of the Fire Services Act 2004. SWFRS charges for access to more comprehensive and detailed information regarding incidents that have been attended, as is common practice among fire and rescue services.
As incident information is reasonably accessible by other means, even though it is accessible only on payment, requests for Incident or Fire Investigation Reports under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 will be refused under Section 21 (i.e. information accessible to an applicant by other means), and as this exemption is absolute it is not subject to a public interest test.
This approach to charging by fire and rescue services has been reviewed and approved by the Information Commissioner’s Office as evidenced by Decision Notice FS50859031.
Personal data in Incident and Fire Investigation Reports is often limited and ordinarily relates to any victims that may have been injured at an incident. Normally, we can only disclose information to the occupier of a property, driver of a vehicle or someone operating a business at a premises at the time of an incident. However, we understand that often it is the landlord/letting agent or insurers who will request the report – in those cases, we can release the report, provided we have the consent of those individuals. If there are multiple persons involved with an incident, we require consent from all individuals to release an unredacted version, should it contain their personal data – or another legal basis to disclose their personal data. This is essential, in order to comply with data protection legislation and to protect unwanted intrusions into people’s privacy.
Under data protection legislation individuals are only entitled to a copy of their own personal data. It does not entitle them to a copy of original documents, or information that does not relate to them as an identified individual.
If you are looking to request an incident or fire investigation report, please see our Incident and Fire Investigation Reports page for more information.