The UK’s independent authority set up to uphold information rights in the public interest, promoting openness by public bodies and data privacy for individuals.

two people looking at a computer screen

ICO sandbox tackles road safety and violence reduction

18 March 2021

The use of personal data is often key to helping organisations improve how their own services can be delivered more efficiently. This often involves data sharing.

Compliant data sharing is crucial to the economy, promoting research and innovation and protecting the health and security of the public.

This is evident in the work that has continued within the sandbox throughout the pandemic. Despite a challenging year, there have been some very positive outcomes which can be taken forward into the real world.

In these final three projects from the beta phase, data sharing is a common thread and is central to their operation. The sandbox has helped the organisations achieve this while staying compliant with data protection law.

The publication of these reports marks the end of the beta phase of the sandbox which has now entered its next stage. We will be reviewing this trial phase of the sandbox to inform our future work and will be reporting back in the next few months on lessons learned overall.

Tonic Analytics

Tech company Tonic Analytics has been developing The Galileo Programme, under the direction of the Police and Highways England, aims to enable intelligence led actions that aim to reduce the number of fatally and seriously injured road users in the UK and reduce the amount of crime associated with use of the UK’s roads.

The application of advanced analytics on big data sets is key to the programme aims of reducing the number of serious collisions and crimes on the roads. This intelligence is intended to support more efficient data sharing between public and private sector organisations, enable resource to be targeted effectively, and deliver coordinated actions in the public interest.

Greater London Authority

Supporting the development and enhancement of the GLA hosted SafeStats, an existing multi-agency data platform. This will align closely to the work of the London-based Violence Reduction Unit set up by The Mayor of London, helping to inform violence-related decision-making processes.

The Violence Reduction Unit (VRU) is taking a public health approach to this issue. As part of this work, the VRU needs to better understand how public health and social services can be managed to prevent and reduce crime, with a focus on early intervention. There is increasing interest from the VRU, the Mayor’s Office of Policing and Crime (MOPAC) and the Greater London Authority (GLA), for health, social and crime data to be looked at in an integrated and collaborative way.


MHCLG planned to address the low quality of privately rented housing in the Blackpool area through a housing quality pilot. The project could not be completed due to the pandemic but the ICO has produced a set of recommendations for the department for future consideration.

A new set of participants is now on board doing more work directly with innovators developing products and services that support complex data sharing in the public interest, with the aim being to promote and enable confident, responsible and lawful data sharing.

An important starting point for organisations is our own data sharing code of practice which was launched towards the end of last year, along with a data sharing hub providing a suite of targeted resources to help them make the right decisions.

We are also focusing on innovations linked to the issues tackled by our Children’s Code which comes into force later this year. This will involve hands-on, intensive support to the development of a product or service which has direct relevance to the rights and freedoms of children and young people online.

The Sandbox is currently at capacity and therefore we are unable to take on new participants at this time. However, if you would like to submit an Expression of Interest for participation later in 2021 please do so at

  Chris Taylor

Chris Taylor is a Head of Assurance at ICO working on the development of ICO's operational approach to Codes Of Conduct, Certification Schemes, Regulatory Sandbox and eIDAS.