Trading Standards: Privacy notice for witnesses
Who we are
Croydon Trading Standards works to protect consumers and businesses from illegal trading practices and supports legitimate business within the borough of Croydon.
In serious cases, we may – as a prosecuting authority – apply to the court to prosecute alleged offenders and/or obtain enforcement orders to stop illegal activities for the law enforcement purposes under section 31 of the Data Protection Act 2018.
This privacy notice
Personal data is data which identifies a living individual directly or indirectly, in particular by reference to an identifier such as their name, address or date of birth. It does not include information relating to dead people, groups or communities of people, organisations or businesses.
We are committed to the responsible handling and security of your personal data. Your privacy is important to us and protected in law. Please read the following information carefully. This privacy notice contains details of the information collected, stored and otherwise processed about you and the reasons for the processing. It also tells you who and why we share this information with when carrying out our law enforcement duties, and how to contact us in the event you need further information.
In respect of becoming a (potential) witness for Croydon Trading Standards, the most common situations where we may contact you and collect, use and share your personal data are:
- When we take a witness statement from you in connection with an alleged crime under section 9 of the Criminal Justice Act 1967 as part of our investigations and subsequently if your written statement is allowed by the court as evidence in criminal proceedings.
- Before your statement is accepted by the court, your statement may be shared as necessary with e.g. family and associates of the person whose personal information we are processing, solicitors, barristers, prosecution authorities, the Crown Prosecution Service, the police, the defence, and expert and other witnesses as part of putting together a legal case and complying with case management rules ordered by the court.
- If you are a victim of an alleged crime, we may also take a victim personal statement (VPS) from you. This statement gives victims an opportunity to describe the wider effects of the crime upon them, express their concerns and indicate whether or not they require any support. Like the section 9 statement, it may be necessary to share your VPS as part of our law enforcement duties.
- When we first contact you, we may also complete a victim and witness needs assessment and, where appropriate, refer you to third-party specialist support agencies. You will be asked whether you consent to your personal information being shared with support services. Where permission is withheld we will seek to respect your wishes, but, in certain circumstances, there may be overriding obligations which means that your personal details will be shared as required or permitted by law.
For more information about how Croydon Trading Standards uses and protects your personal information and your data rights, please see our general privacy notice available at www.croydon.gov.uk/privacy.
When we ask for your personal data we:
- will inform you why we need your personal data, that is, explain either in writing or verbally how a witness statement can be used.
- ask only for the personal data we need and that is relevant to the criminal enquiry that we are conducting;
- will not collect information that is irrelevant or excessive;
- will protect personal data and make sure no unauthorised person has access to it;
- may share it with other organisations for legitimate purposes – as specified in this notice – but only where necessary and permitted by the law, and wherever possible we will keep you informed of this;
- will make sure we do not keep it longer than is necessary.
Legal basis for processing your personal data
Under data protection legislation, Croydon Trading Standards is the data controller for the personal data that we process – that is, collecting, storing, sharing and destroying this information – when exercising our statutory functions.
Where we process your personal data for law enforcement purposes in connection with our investigations and prosecution, including taking statements and/or completing victim and witness needs assessments, Part 3 of the Data Protection Act (DPA) 2018 applies.
The nature of your personal data we will be using
The categories of your personal data that can be collected are:
- Personal identifiers (e.g. name, date of birth);
- Contact information (e.g. home address, e-mail address, telephone number);
- Employment details (e.g. current and/or previous employer);
- Details of any crime committed or alleged to have been committed against an individual or business that the individual has witnessed;
- Details of an individuals’ needs and the support provided to them;
- Other details that an individual chooses to provide, including where applicable equality, diversity and inclusion data;
- Financial details (for expense purposes, if applicable).
We may also be supplied sensitive personal data such as:
- Your racial or ethnic origin;
- Your religious beliefs or other beliefs of a similar nature;
- Your physical or mental health or condition(s);
- Information about criminal convictions or legal proceedings, outcomes and sentences, and related security measures.
We are entitled by law to process the information where the processing is necessary for law enforcement, legal proceedings, legal advice, or otherwise for establishing, exercising or defending legal rights.
Who we will make your personal data available to
We sometimes need to make personal data available to other organisations including regulators (e.g. Information Commissioner’s Office) to meet out legal obligations. Where we need to share your personal data with others, we ensure that this sharing complies with data protection legislation.
The information you give us will not usually be shared with anyone who is not a party to proceedings unless this is specifically ordered by the court or permitted by the Criminal Procedure Rules. There are rules about when information in cases may be disclosed outside of proceedings.
Criminal proceedings hearings are generally heard in public. This means that others may overhear your personal information whilst sitting in the courtroom. However, the Rules provide for circumstances where hearings may be held in private, and for circumstances where the identity of parties or witnesses may be kept confidential.
We also share your personal data with our enforcement partners including, but not limited to, the police, HMRC, National Trading Standards and other local authorities. More information about who we share information with can be found on our privacy notice at www.croydon.gov.uk/privacy.
How long we will keep your personal data
We will only keep your personal data for as long as we need it for the purpose(s) specified in this notice. There is usually a legal reason for keeping your personal information for a set period of time. Your data will normally be retained and securely deleted seven years from the date of creation in line with the usual limitation period for bringing/defending legal claims.
If you require more information about how long we keep your data, please contact us at email@example.com.
Your data protection rights
To find out what rights you have in relation to the protection of personal information that we collect, use and store, please see the Council’s corporate privacy notice available at www.croydon.gov.uk/privacy.
Further information about your data protection rights appears on the Information Commissioner’s Office website at www.ico.org.uk.
Withdrawal of consent and the right to lodge a complaint
Please note that as Croydon Trading Standards has a statutory responsibility to process your personal data, your consent is not required for the processing of data as part of our law enforcement role.
If you are unhappy with the use of your personal data, please let us know by contacting the Council’s Information Management Team via email at firstname.lastname@example.org to state your grievance.
You have the right to raise any concerns with the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) via their website at https://ico.org.uk.
We reserve the right to amend this Privacy Notice at any time and will keep it under review. If we do make any changes, we will post the current version to our website at this address.