Freedom of information act

The Freedom of Information Act (“the Act”) was introduced in 2000 to provide any member of the general public with a right to access to all kinds of recorded information held by public authorities.

The following information will tell you how the act applies to the work of the Teesport Harbour Police.

Who are Teesport Harbour Police?

The ports of Tees and Hartlepool have been served for over 100 years by a dedicated and professional harbour police force. Teesport Harbour Police is entirely funded by PD Teesport Limited, a private company limited by shares. The constables in the Harbour Police are individuals appointed by local Justices of the Peace who thereafter enjoy full constabulary powers and privileges within the jurisdiction of the Harbour Police. 

As well as all aspects of general police duties, the Harbour Police constable will be involved in many other harbour and shipping related tasks, including the berthing of vessels and checking various safety and other regulations necessary for the operation of the port.

The Harbour Police will be expected to visit every ship that visits the port to issue general directions and byelaws and to check any dangerous cargo, explosives or firearms carried and to be fully conversant with the requirements of The Merchant Shipping Act, The Harbours Docks and Piers Clauses Act, The Immigration Act and increasingly, European Legislation. They also have a very busy and important role to play enforcing the requirements of the ISPS Code.

How does the Act apply?

PD Teesport Limited is not a public authority and as such is not bound by all of the requirements of the act however Schedule 1, Part V, of the Act does impose certain obligations upon PD Teesport Limited to make information available if it relates to the functions of a constable in the Harbour Police.

Your rights

Your right to Information under the Freedom of Information Act came into force on 1 January 2005. Upon a request in writing and subject to the exemptions below, we are required to:

  • Let you know in writing whether we hold the information you have asked for; and
  • In most circumstances, provide any information we do have to you within 20 working days from the request.

 What information can I have?

We are committed to delivering an accessible and transparent service whenever possible and our Publication Scheme makes available as much information as possible. Having said this, the public must remember that our primary purpose is our commitment to protect the port community we serve and preventing and detecting crime, and to this end, certain information concerning ongoing investigations, investigative methods, intelligence, personal information and the use of related operational techniques must be protected. 

This information may therefore be subject to a test of public interest before its possible release. In this respect the Harbour Police may, when appropriate, apply certain exemptions afforded under the Act.  Find out more about the Harbour Police Publication Scheme.

How do I make a request?

You can make a request to our Freedom of Information Officer in writing by fax, email or letter and we would kindly ask that you:

  • Refer to Freedom of Information in the subject line
  • Provide your name and address for responses
  • Describe as clearly as possible the information you are seeking and what form you wish to receive it in.

How much will it cost me?

PD Teesport Limited may ask you for a small but reasonable contribution towards the cost of copying, printing or postage. If PD Teesport Limited believe the cost will be more than £450, you will be notified.

How so I complain if I am not given the information I ask for?

The Information Commissioner is responsible for making sure that Teesport Harbour Police comply with the Act, and can issue fines or even imprisonment for those who don’t comply. Visit the Information Commissioner’s website for more information.

What can I do with the information?

The copyright of information included in Teesport Harbour Police's publication scheme will be owned by PD Teesport Limited unless otherwise indicated. The supply of information under the Freedom of Information Act does not give the person or organisation who receives it an automatic right to re-use the information in a way which would infringe copyright, for example, by making multiple copies, publishing and issuing copies to the public.  

Brief extracts of material covered by the publication scheme may be reproduced under the fair dealing provisions of the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 (sections 29 and 30) for the purposes of research for non-commercial purposes, private study, criticism, review and news reporting. More extensive re-use must only be carried out with prior written permission from PD Teesport Limited.

Enquiries about the re-use of material should be directed to the Harbour Police Freedom Of Information Officer - HPC Mark Hardy.