Feeds

Police fight to retain 30 year old petty crime records

Appeal information commissioner's ruling

Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction

Police will appeal against a ruling from the information commissioner to remove records, including on covering the theft of a 99p piece of meat.

Four police forces are to appeal against an order from the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) to delete old criminal convictions from the Police National Computer (PNC).

The ICO said after investigating complaints from four individuals, it issued enforcement notices to Humberside, Northumbria, Staffordshire and West Midlands police.

The police forces are appealing each case to the Information Tribunal, which means the information does not need to be deleted until after the outcome of the appeal is determined.

The ICO said it is concerned that the old conviction information in question is being held contrary to the principles of the Data Protection Act because it is no longer relevant and is excessive for policing purposes.

"Personal data processed for any purpose should be adequate, relevant and not excessive, and should not be kept for longer than is necessary for that purpose," it said.

One of the records, held by Humberside Police, is about the theft of a 99p packet of meat stolen in 1984 by someone under 18 years of age. The thief was fined £15.

Others include a record at West Midlands Police about an attempted theft which happened over 25 years ago, resulting in the individual being fined £25. Another at Staffordshire Police concerns a child under 14 years of age, who was cautioned for a minor assault. Although she was originally told that the information would be deleted when she was 18, she has now been told that the record will not be removed until she reaches her 100th birthday.

Mick Gorrill, assistant commissioner for the ICO and a former police detective superintendent, commented on 1 November 2007: "Each case relates to individuals who have been convicted or cautioned on on e occasion and have not been convicted of any other offences.

"Some of the incidents date back nearly 30 years. The offences were non-custodial and we believe there is no justification in terms of policing purposes for retaining the information.

"The retention of this conviction information is causing harm and distress to the individuals concerned. We are not satisfied that in these particular cases this information will be of any use for policing purposes."

Welcoming the original ruling by the ICO as a victory for common sense, Liberal Democrat shadow home secretary Nick Clegg MP said: "With the Government rolling out the biggest databases in the world without any meaningful public debate, the information commissioner is a lone voice seeking to protect British liberties.

"That is why he should be given more powers and more resources to stop officialdom poking into every nook and cranny of our lives."

This article was originally published at Kablenet.

Kablenet's GC weekly is a free email newsletter covering the latest news and analysis of public sector technology. To register click here.

SANS - Survey on application security programs

More from The Register

next story
EU: Let's cost financial traders $400m a day, because EVIL BANKERS. Right?
Wait 'til this one hits your pension fund where it hurts
Systems meltdown plunges US immigration courts into pen-and-paper stone age
Massive outage could last four weeks, sources claim
Lavabit loses contempt of court appeal over protecting Snowden, customers
Judges rule complaints about government power are too little, too late
UK.gov chucks £28m at F1 tech for buses and diggers plan
Well, not really F1 but who's heard of LMP and VLN*?
Don't let no-hire pact suit witnesses call Steve Jobs a bullyboy, plead Apple and Google
'Irrelevant' character evidence should be excluded – lawyers
Record labels sue Pandora over vintage song royalties
Companies want payout on recordings made before 1972
Edward Snowden on his Putin TV appearance: 'Why all the criticism?'
Denies Q&A cameo was meant to slam US, big-up Russia
Ex-Tony Blair adviser is new top boss at UK spy-hive GCHQ
Robert Hannigan to replace Sir Iain Lobban in the autumn
Judge halts spread of zombie Nortel patents to Texas in Google trial
Epic Rockstar patent war to be waged in California
prev story

Whitepapers

Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Mainstay ROI - Does application security pay?
In this whitepaper learn how you and your enterprise might benefit from better software security.
Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.