Skip to content

Coronavirus (COVID-19)

How we are working to keep our FOI Requests running during COVID-19

Official Secrets Act (1146_15)


I am currently conducting research for a law book which considers the offences relating to the unauthorised disclosure of official information by Crown servants. I therefore request the following information:

1.    Please disclose the number of arrests for offences under the Official Secrets

Act 1989 from the time the Act came into force until the latest available date.

2.    If possible, for each arrest please identify:

(i)    The section(s) of the Act the arrested person was alleged to have committed.

(ii)  The year of the arrest

(iii) Whether the individual was charged or whether no further action was taken.

3.    Please disclose the number of warrant applications under section 11 (3) Official Secrets Act 1989 since the Act came into force until the latest available date.

4.    If possible, for each application please identify:

(i)            The year when the application was made.

(ii)          Whether the application was granted or not.

(iii)         If possible, and if such information is available, please identify the section(s) of the Official Secrets Act 1989 at issue in the warrant (i.e. the alleged offences to which the warrant is sought for police to investigate).

5.    If possible please disclose the number of warrants authorised by a superintendent from the time the Official Secrets Act 1989 came into force until the latest available date, in the circumstances outlined in s.11 (3) Official Secrets Act 1989 and s.9 Official Secrets Act 1911, namely: “”Where it appears to a superintendent of police that the case is one of great emergency and that in the interest of the State immediate action is necessary, he may by a written order under his hand give to any constable the like authority as may be given by the warrant of a justice under this section.”

6.    Please disclose any policy guidance/ guidelines concerning the investigation of offences concerning the unauthorised disclosure of information by public officials.

7.    Please disclose your whistleblowing policy (also generally known as a `speak up’ or `raising concerns’ policy).


Please find attached our response.