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Police forces have received millions of pounds for passing on the details of road accident victims to claims management companies, insurers and lawyers.

Police forces have received millions of pounds for passing on the details of road accident victims to claims management companies, insurers and lawyers.

It may have led to thousands of people being pursued by “cash for crash” companies looking to profit out of personal injury claims, vehicle repairs and providing a replacement car.

Police forces denied making a profit, insisting the money they received was merely covering their administrative costs in providing details to insurers after a crash. Three forces — Fife, Hampshire and the Metropolitan Police — have admitted giving the contact details of more than 16,000 people to third parties. It is believed the practice is adopted by other forces, although they declined to provide details to LV.

The Met admitted it had been paid more than £5 million since 2009; Hampshire has received £480,000 since 2010, while Fife has been paid £194,000, a freedom of information request by LV Insurance found. Read more.

David Millward | The Telegraph | 31st January 2013

Placing council services at arms length has weakened Scotland’s freedom of information

Though Scotland‘s Freedom of Information Act (FoISA) became operational back in January 2005, the growing use of arm’s-length management companies and outsourcing agreements by Scotland’s local authorities means that fewer and fewer public services are subject to the public’s right to know. The Scottish Information Commissioner, for example, estimates 15,000 council tenants lost their FoISA rights through stock transfer when they became tenants of housing associations.

This loss of rights has been compounded by sustained inaction by successive ministers, culminating this month in a refusal to fix the problem, despite assertions by Scotland’s Deputy First Minister that he believes “Scotland already has the most robust Freedom of Information regime in the whole of the UK”.

Such flag waving is tempered by the profound disappointment of campaigners as – despite enjoying full devolved powers to legislate – the Scottish Government rejected amendments that would have ensured FoISA returned to the standard intended when passed in 2002. Read more.

Carole Ewart | The Guardian | 30th January 2013



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