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Sharing Information and Data

Sharing Information and Data

When successful, data sharing can lead to better problem solving involving all stakeholders (police, business and the public) so that, fundamentally, levels of retail crime, violence and abuse are reduced.

Definition and Scope: 

The Data Sharing task and finish group defined five characteristics of data sharing in order to help scope the work of the group, and its relationship to the work of the reporting group. 

  • Incident Type– the reporting of a crime relates, in general, to one incident involving one or more individuals which requires some form of police action whereas data sharing will not usually relate to one incident but could relate to an individual or individuals, or a number of similar incidents; 
  • Purpose of sharing data– data sharing is usually focused on a situation or individuals as part of a problem-solving activity for ongoing issues whereas reporting of an incident will usually require a police intervention; 
  • Timing– data sharing may relate to some ongoing activity but is usually done after the event as part of a problem-solving exercise (either a generic problem or an existing, immediate and ongoing problem in a specific area) whereas reporting will always be done at the time and require a more immediate, live response; 
  • Information flow– the eporting of specific crime is usually from business to police whereas data sharing can be from business to police but also police to business and business to business; and 
  • Action– perhaps most critically the result of data sharing is likely to be multi-stakeholder problem-solving involving enforcement, business, regulatory and potentially voluntary organisations whereas the action resulting from the report of a crime will ideally be some form of police intervention. 

Principles of Data Sharing: 

The UK GDPR sets out seven key principles which retailers should consider when sharing and processing information: 

  • Lawfulness, fairness and transparency
  • Purpose limitation
  • Data minimisation
  • Accuracy
  • Storage limitation
  • Integrity and confidentiality (security)
  • Accountability

For further information, click here

What not to do

Ineffective data sharing can lead to negative outcomes for businesses and police. Please refer to the ICO website linked below for further information. Data sharing – when is it unlawful? | ICO 

For more guidance on sharing information in compliance with GDPR, refer to the ICO website: Data sharing information hub | ICO

For guidance on how to report incidents to police: REPORTING (