Merton Council has statutory duties under section 36 to 41 of the Counter-Terrorism and Security Act 2015 to provide support for people vulnerable to being drawn into any form of terrorism. Channel is a programme which focuses on providing support at an early stage to people who are identified as being vulnerable to being drawn into terrorism. The programme uses a multi-agency approach to protect vulnerable people by:
- identifying individuals at risk
- assessing the nature and extent of that risk
- developing the most appropriate support plan for the individuals concerned.
Personal information we collect and use
Information collected by us
In the course of delivering our responsibilities under the Channel programme, we collect the following personal information about you, either when you provide it to us or from another member of the Merton Channel Panel:
- date of birth
- contact details
- relevant family member and associate details
- first language
- criminal records and conviction data
We also collect the following special category personal data:
- relevant medical information (if applicable)
- religious beliefs (if applicable)
- relevant Social Care information
We recognise that personal information concerning criminal convictions and offences is not special category personal data but is a very sensitive type of personal information which can only be shared in narrow circumstances.
How we use your personal information
We use your personal information to provide tailored support at an early stage to you, with the aim of preventing you from being drawn into terrorism.
How long your personal data will be kept
We will hold your personal information for 7 years. After this period the information will be reviewed, and only retained where there is an ongoing requirement to retain for a statutory or legal purpose. Following this your personal information will be securely destroyed.
Reasons we can collect and use your personal information
The lawful basis on which we collect and use your personal data is that 'processing is necessary for the completion of task carried out in the public interest.'
As we may collect and use your special categories of personal data (medical information and religious beliefs) and also details about criminal records and convictions, if relevant, the lawful basis on which we collect and use your personal data is that 'processing is necessary for reasons of substantial public interest' namely for preventing and detecting unlawful acts.
Who we share your personal information with
As part of the Channel process, personal information is shared securely and only where strictly necessary. Relevant information will be sought from other agencies as appropriate to inform our assessment. Where there is a need this will be discussed at a multi-agency panel to consider whether intervention support should be offered. The information will only be shared with relevant agencies. This may include: police, health agencies, Home Office, immigration, probation, district local authorities, school, college, or other relevant agencies.
We will share personal information with law enforcement or other authorities if required to do so by applicable law.
Under UK GDPR you have rights which you can exercise free of charge which allow you to:
- know what we are doing with your information and why we are doing it
- ask to see what information we hold about you
- ask us to correct any mistakes in the information we hold about you
- object to direct marketing
- make a complaint to the Information Commissioner's Office
- where we have relied upon consent, withdraw your consent at any time
Depending on our reason for using your information you may also be entitled to:
- ask us to delete information we hold about you
- have your information transferred electronically to yourself or to another organisation
- object to decisions being made that significantly affect you
- object to how we are using your information
- stop us using your information in certain ways
We will always seek to comply with your request however we may be required to hold or use your information to comply with legal duties. We will liaise with the Home Office regarding your request, as information is jointly controlled with the Home Office. Please note: your request may delay or prevent us from supporting you.
For further information about your rights, including the circumstances in which they apply, see the guidance from the UK Information Commissioner's Office on individuals' rights under UK GDPR.
Keeping your personal information secure
We have appropriate security measures in place to prevent personal information from being accidentally lost, used or accessed in an unauthorised way. We limit access to your personal information to those who have a genuine business need to know it. Those processing your information will do so only in an authorised manner and are subject to a duty of confidentiality.
We also have procedures in place to deal with any suspected data security breach. We will notify you and any applicable regulator of a suspected data security breach where we are legally required to do so.
Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org to exercise any of your rights, if you have a complaint about why your information has been collected, how it has been used or how long we have kept it for or to contact the Data Protection Officer.
Read our corporate privacy statement.