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Privacy and Data Processing

These notices set out how Royal Berkshire Fire and Rescue Service (RBFRS) use and protect your personal information:

Royal Berkshire Fire and Rescue Service (RBFRS) is committed to protecting your personal data and privacy.
We recognise that making sure the personal data we keep about you is accurate and secure is essential to retaining your confidence and trust. We also want to be open and transparent with what we do with your information. 

The information you provide to us will only be used for the purpose(s) it was obtained and will never be used for third party marketing.

This privacy notice explains our responsibilities and how we use your personal data when you contact us, or when you use one of our services.

Data Controller

Royal Berkshire Fire and Rescue Service is a Data Controller (as defined by the Data Protection legislation),
for the personal information we collect and use to carry out our statutory role and public services.

As a Data Controller, we are required to register with the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) and
pay a yearly fee.

Registration number: Z5474484 (Data Protection Entry Register

The ICO is the independent authority who regulate and enforce the compliance of the Data Protection legislation.

Data Protection Officer

Under the Data Protection legislation we are required to have a Data Protection Officer (DPO). 

Our DPO is Cath Dukes, and she can be contacted in the following ways


Write to: Data Protection Officer

Royal Berkshire Fire and Rescue Service
Newsham Court
Pincents Kiln
RG31 7SD

Telephone: 0118 945 2888

Why we collect your personal information

As a Fire and Rescue Service, we need to collect personal data to deliver public services, for example –

  • Respond to emergency (999) calls and incidents
  • Investigate the cause of fires   
  • For staffing; recruitment, employment and retirement purposes
  • To provide business fire safety advice, inspections and enforcement (eg Fire Safety Audits)
  • To deliver youth schemes/ programs and initiatives (eg FireFit, and Young Firefighters)
  • To provide community fire safety services (eg Home Fire Safety Checks/Safe and Well Visits)
  • Investigate complaints
  • Respond to enquiries and requests for information
  • To monitor that we are meeting our legal and regulatory obligations, and providing the best service to the people of Royal Berkshire.

We also use static and mobile closed circuit television (CCTV) for the security of our staff and assets, and for the prevention and detection of crime.

Thames Valley Fire Control Service (TVFCS) handle the emergency (999) calls for our service.

What information we collect about you

To provide these services, your personal information may be collected –

  • In person (including visits and at events),
  • During telephone calls,
  • In writing (emails/letters),
  • Through our website (including online forms),
  • From our social media platforms,
  • Via photography or filming.

Depending on the purpose, the information we collect might include –

  • Personal and family details,
  • Details about your education and employment,
  • Financial details,
  • Incident and accident details (including location),
  • Visual images (for example CCTV), and
  • Audio recordings (for example recordings of emergency calls).

We may also collect information that will be sensitive to you, such as relevant medical, and lifestyle information.  

This personal information may have been provided by –

  • You,
  • Members of your family,
  • Your employer,
  • Your landlord,
  • Your locally community, or
  • Other agencies and organisations (for example local authorities, other public services, housing associations, or charities).

Our legal basis for processing

We will only use your personal information when we have a legal basis to do so. Depending on the purpose for collecting the information, we will need to comply with at least one of the six available lawful reasons for processing under the Data Protection legislation.

Consent: the individual has given clear consent for us to process their personal data for a specific purpose.

Contract: the processing is necessary for a contract we have with the individual, or because they have asked us to take specific steps before entering into a contract.

Legal obligation: the processing is necessary for us to comply with the law (not including contractual obligations).

Vital interests: the processing is necessary to protect someone’s life.

Public task: the processing is necessary for us to perform a task in the public interest or for your official functions, and the task or function has a clear basis in law.

Legitimate interests: the processing is necessary for our legitimate interests or the legitimate interests of a third party, unless there is a good reason to protect the individual’s personal data which overrides those legitimate interests. (This cannot apply if we are processing data to perform our public/official tasks.)

As a Fire and Rescue Service, our reasons will usually be because we have a legal obligation or we are carrying out a task in the public interest, or in our official authority.

Further information about this can be found in the specific privacy notices listed below.

What we do with your information

How we use your personal information will depend on which of our services you have used. 

Generally, we need to process your personal information to enable us to deliver these services effectively.
Your information will be used by our relevant teams or departments to provide the required service.  We will only process the information for the purpose it was provided.

Below are specific privacy notices, which provide more information on how we use your data, and the legal reasons for processing it.

Sharing your information

There are a number of reasons why we may share your information outside of our Service. This can be due to:

  • Our obligations to comply with current legislation
  • Our duty to comply with a Court Order
  • You have consented to the sharing / disclosure

We may disclose information to other agencies without consent where it is necessary, either to comply with a legal obligation, or where permitted under the General Data Protection Regulation, e.g. where the disclosure is necessary for the purposes of the prevention and/or detection of crime.

We work closely with other agencies, such as councils, health services, adult and children’s services and may, for the purpose of preventing risk of harm to yourself or another an individual , share your personal information.

As a public authority, we are also subject to information rights legislation (Freedom of Information Act 2000, Environmental Information Regulations 2004 and Data Protection legislation).  We do receive requests for information, however, unless there is a legal obligation to provide your personal data, information will be released in a redacted form.  This means your personal data will be removed before publication so that you cannot be identified.

How long we keep it and how it is stored

We will only retain personal information for as long as necessary to perform the purpose(s) we collected it for. Records are maintained in line with our retention schedule, which determines the length of time records should be kept.  These retention periods will also include any legal, accounting or reporting requirements. 

We take our duty to protect your personal information and confidentiality seriously. We are committed to taking all reasonable measures to ensure the confidentiality and security of personal data for which we are responsible, whether computerised or on paper. This means that your information will be kept in a secure environment and access to it will be restricted according to the ‘need to know’ principle.  Personal details will then be destroyed/deleted.

We do compile and publish statistics showing certain information, but not in a form which identifies anyone.

Your rights

Unless subject to lawful restrictions (exemptions), the Data Protection legislation provides the following rights to individuals:

  1. The right to be informed
  2. The right of access
  3. The right to rectification
  4. The right to erasure
  5. The right to restrict processing
  6. The right to data portability
  7. The right to object
  8. Rights in relation to automated decision making and profiling

Further information about your personal data rights is available on the ICO website –
ICO Your Data Matters page.

If you have a query, concern or want to make a complaint about the information we hold about you or how we are processing it, please contact our Data Protection Officer (DPO).  For further information see Personal Data.

Right to make a complaint to the Information Commissioner’s Office    
If you are not satisfied with our response or the way we handle your information, you can make a complaint to the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO),

ICO website

Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow, Cheshire, SK9 5AF 

0303 123 1113

Website Privacy Policy

Your Privacy

Your privacy is very important to us. Accordingly, we have developed this Policy in order for you to understand how we collect, use, communicate and make use of personal information. The following outlines our Website Privacy Policy.

When accessing our website, Royal Berkshire Fire and Rescue Service will learn certain information about you during your visit.

Similar to other websites, our website utilises a standard technology called cookies (see explanation below, What Are Cookies ?”) and web server logs to collect information about how our website is used. Information gathered through cookies and web server logs may include the date and time of visits, the pages viewed, time spent at our website, and the websites visited just before and just after our website, your IP address.

What are Cookies?

A cookie is a very small text document, which often includes an anonymous unique identifier. When you visit a website, that site’s computer asks your computer for permission to store this file in a part of your hard drive specifically designated for cookies. Each website can send its own cookie to your browser if your browser’s preferences allow it, but(to protect your privacy) your browser only permits a website to access the cookies it has already sent to you, not the cookies sent to you by other sites. See our Cookies page for further information.

IP Addresses

IP addresses are used by your computer or mobile device every time you are connected to the internet. Your IP address is a number that is used by computers on the network to identify your computer. IP addresses are automatically collected by our web server as part of demographic and profile data known as “traffic data” so that data (such as the web pages you request) can be sent to you.

Email Information

If you choose to correspond with us through email, we may retain the content of your email messages together with your email address and our responses. We provide the same protections for these electronic communications that we employ in the maintenance of information received online, mail and telephone.

We are committed to keeping your email address confidential. We do not sell, rent, or lease our subscription lists to third parties, and we will not provide your personal information to any third party individual, government agency, or company at any time unless compelled to do so by law.

We will use your email address solely to provide timely information about Royal Berkshire Fire and Rescue Service.

Royal Berkshire Fire and Rescue Service will maintain the information you send via email in accordance with applicable law.

All email sent from our organisation will clearly state who the email is from and provide clear information on how to contact the sender. In addition, relevant email messages will also contain contact information on how to remove yourself from our mailing list so that you receive no further email communication from us.

How Do We Protect Your Information and Secure Information Transmissions? 

Email is not recognised as a secure medium of communication. However, if you do use it to send us information, you do so at your own risk. Some of the information you may provide on our website may be transmitted securely via a secure medium known as Secure Sockets Layer, or SSL.  

Royal Berkshire Fire and Rescue Service may use software programs to create summary statistics, which are used for such purposes as assessing the number of visitors to the different sections of our site, what information is of most and least interest, determining technical design specifications, and identifying system performance or problem areas.

For site security purposes and to ensure that this service remains available to all users, Royal Berkshire Fire and Rescue Service uses software programs to monitor network traffic to identify unauthorised attempts to upload or change information, or otherwise cause damage.

Privacy Notice Changes

We keep our privacy notices under regular review to make sure they are up to date and accurate – updated versions will be available on this webpage.

How Do I Find Out More?

For further information see Access to Information

If you have any questions or comments about these Privacy Notices, please contact:

Data Protection Officer
Royal Berkshire Fire and Rescue Service 
Newsham Court 
Pincents Kiln 
RG31 7SD

Automatic Fire Alarm (AFA) Consultation

Business Fire Safety and Enforcement

CCTV (Fixed and Vehicle)

Chaplains and the RBFRS Association

Communications and media – Public

Community Risk Management Plan (CRMP) 2023-27 Consultation

Complaints, Comments and Compliments

Consultations Mailing List

Contact details (Agencies, Businesses & Organisations)

Corporate Meetings (including actions and decisions logs)

Customer Satisfaction Surveys

Details and payments collected for paid services (special services)

Educational Establishments – Conducting Surveys, Evaluations and Registration

Emergency (999) Calls Incidents and Response (Thames Valley Fire Control Service)

Exposure to Hazardous Substances, Radiation, Viral Hazards or Bodily Fluids

Financial Information relating to suppliers and customers of goods and services

Firefighter Pension Scheme (FFPS)

FireSafe Working with Children and Young People

General enquiries to RBFRS

Hydrants and Water Information

Information collected at or for Incidents

Information Requests

Injuries, Accidents and Near Misses

Insurance and Claims

Investigation of Fires

Job Applicants (and those undertaking Pre- Application Activities)

Lone Workers (RBFRS staff)

Medical treatment given by trained RBFRS staff at Incidents (Immediate Emergency Care)

Online Adult at Risk Programme (ARP) Sessions

Online Fire Safety Sessions

Public Consultation or Exhibitions for proposed schemes (designs of buildings…)

Public Engagement for Proposed Future Development (neighbours and local community)

RBFA Members’ Code of Conduct 2023 Consultation

RBFA Procurement and Contracts

RBFRS Employees

RBFRS Events – public

RBFRS Events – staff

Reporting Personal Data Breaches

Reporting Property and Equipment Defects

Requests for Incident Information

Requests for Visits for Local Organisations and Community Events

Safe and Well Visits

Safe and Well Visit Survey

Safeguarding Children and Vulnerable Adults

Service House Tenants

Subject Access Requests (SARs)

Visiting Newsham Court (Visitors, Contractors and Members)

Volunteer Applicant


Welfare Information

Working with Children and Young People

NHS England, the Royal College of General Practitioners and Fire and Rescue Services (FRS) in England work together to ensure preventative resources are offered to those who may benefit most. This is achieved by referrals and the sharing of information (where relevant, proportionate and necessary) to allow fire service personnel to undertake Safe and Well Visits and Home Fire Safety Checks. 
If you require more information about how NHS England use and share your information, please visit the NHS England Your Information page.

Research has shown that those at high risk from fire death and injury are those who are most likely to impact on a range of NHS services. Safe and Well Visits / Home Fire Safety Checks are developed between local health practitioners and FRS to meet local health-risk priorities. They therefore represent an intervention which can improve people’s quality of life while reducing demand on critical services.

The majority of fire deaths in the UK occur amongst the elderly population. However older people are most vulnerable to fire and a number of other risks. A Safe and Well visit / Home Fire Safety Check from the FRS is proven to make them safer and can reduce risk significantly across a range of factors.

In one area of the United Kingdom where this work has been piloted since 2007, there has been a very significant reduction in fire deaths and injuries which has developed into a current trend well below the national average. So we know this work can save many lives.

The FRS and NHS will continue to work together in the future to ensure the visits undertaken by the FRS are effective in helping to make making people safe and well. Visit the NHS England Working Together page to find out more. 

Royal Berkshire Fire Authority is required to protect the public funds it administers. It may share information provided to it with other bodies responsible for auditing, or administering public funds, or where undertaking a public function, in order to prevent and detect fraud.

The Cabinet Office is responsible for carrying out data matching exercises.

Data matching involves comparing computer records held by one body against other computer records held by the same or another body to see how far they match. This is usually personal information. Computerised data matching allows potentially fraudulent claims and payments to be identified. Where a match is found it may indicate that there is an inconsistency which requires further investigation. No assumption can be made as to whether there is fraud, error or other explanation until an investigation is carried out.

We participate in the Cabinet Office’s National Fraud Initiative: a data matching exercise to assist in the prevention and detection of fraud. We are required to provide particular sets of data (payroll, pensions and creditor data) to the Minister for the Cabinet Office for matching for each exercise, as detailed on the GOV website.

The use of data by the Cabinet Office in a data matching exercise is carried out with statutory authority under Part 6 of the Local Audit and Accountability Act 2014. It does not require the consent of the individuals concerned under data protection legislation or the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).

Data matching by the Cabinet Office is subject to a Code of Practice.

View further information on the Cabinet Office’s legal powers and the reasons why it matches particular information. For further information on data matching at this Authority, please contact Ryan Maslen,