A British Transport Police officer accused a subject of wasting police time after the subject waited patiently for police attendance to resolve a situation with a counterpart who had called police.

The subject responded by challenging the accusation of wasting police time by having the police called on them. The officer changed his story by denying the he had said it.

The subject calls this out by proposing to consult the body cam footage by Subject Access Request (under the Data Protection Act). The officer objects that one cannot make a Subject Access Request directly but rather could only do it through "a solicitor".

Is there any truth to this whatsoever, and if so, on what basis could one not be entitled to make a request that one's representative can apparently make on one's behalf?

  • 5
    Please define your terms, for the benefit of readers who don't know what SAR, BTP and LEA mean. Commented Sep 14, 2022 at 8:32
  • 1
    Sure. To all of those down voting how about you actually offer some actionable criticism instead of just trying to suppress someone's question? Commented Sep 14, 2022 at 10:01

1 Answer 1


There is nothing preventing the OP's "subject" from making a Subject Access Request in these circumstances

From the British Transport Police's Privacy Notice page, under the heading "How we use personal data":

This privacy notice explains:


  • the rights individuals have when we process their personal data.


Right of Access: You can request access to the personal data we hold about you free of charge. You can request access to the personal data we hold about you using the contact details in this privacy notice.


We collect personal data from a variety of sources, including:


  • sound and visual images (e.g. from body worn cameras, CCTV, or facial recognition software);


  • our own CCTV systems and body worn cameras.

There's more detail in the link, which I have not replicated here to save space and avoid unnecessary "noise", but the above should cover the relevant points raised by the OP

  • What do you think this notion might be based on or misconstrued from? Is there any other provision perhaps in a different context that resembles this? Commented Sep 14, 2022 at 13:16
  • It's hard to know why the officer would be mistaken. In the event of a criminal court case, a prosecuting or defence solicitor might request evidence including recordings from body-worn cameras, as specified/regulated by rules on the production and sharing of evidence (nothing to do with the DPA). So the officer might be confusing requests under data protection law with cases where evidence is requested by a solicitor.
    – Stuart F
    Commented Sep 14, 2022 at 13:31
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    @JosephP. Who knows? It could be confusion, as Stuart F suggests, or it could be the officer (a) lacked the legal knowledge and understanding expected of him, (b) had what he considered more important things to deal with so told an untruth to get of what he perceived to be an awkward or tiresome person, (c) had recently attended a traumatic incident and hadn't had sufficient time to get his head together (d) was an arse
    – user35069
    Commented Sep 14, 2022 at 14:59
  • @StuartF that seems like the most plausible. Commented Sep 14, 2022 at 15:43
  • @Rick I like the breadth of your array of possible scenarios. Commented Sep 14, 2022 at 15:44

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