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back to article DVLA says council snoopers are free to take the WEE

Government officials hit back at accusations last week that they were encouraging councils to break the law and snoop on local residents, claiming instead that not only are they entitled to do so, but that they are required to by law. A report in last week’s Sunday Express pillories local councils for acting unlawfully and …

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Silver badge
WTF?

Easy, uncontrolled, access leads to abuse

Thw data holder should also be the gatekeeper to the data vault.

Few people can be trusted not to use abuse database information and since this data contains personal information the fewer people who have direct access, including police, the better.

Government cannot be trusted.

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and yet...

they don't seem to be able to use this for something useful like issuing me with a residents parking permit without me having to provide a mountain of documentation.

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Anonymous Coward

And yet

Because of all the fraud that goes on with parking permits, and the fact that a large proportion of the DVLA database is out of date or innacurate, then that would be of no use.

I know this because i used to work in parking

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Anonymous Coward

Hmm

So what you're saying is that this database is rubbish, so the fact its used for criminal\civil convictions is quite dangerous?

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Anonymous Coward

I'm saying it's dangerous to rely on it.

And you need to have a sound checking procedure.

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WTF?

Eh?

I'm not against them using the DVLA database for such things but unless I'm being simple how does the DVLA database help catch somebody whose dog is out of control?

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Grenade

Oh, let me think for a microsecond ..

maybe the person was seen getting into/out of a car around the time their dog was out of control.

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FAIL

Indeed

The "owner" was seen getting into a car in North London while a dog was seen being out of control and fouling sidewalks in Cornwall - Obviously that person is the owner and therefore a fair cop, eh?

Or, does having someone's dog always foul the sidewalk next to your car call for a bill in the Post for you to pay for the cleanup?

Automated law (or council mandate, policy, etc) enforcement IS ALWAYS A FAIL. Never assume someone behind a computer screen engages the "LOGIC" part of the brain...

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Coat

TLAs like that wouldn't be allowed a few years ago.

And I thought you were talking about WEEE for a moment (Waste Electronic and Electrical Equipment).

Its all just taking the piss...

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Anonymous Coward

Just following orders?

Oh hi Mr Godwin!

I have a point though. The mere fact that the law says they must do this doesn't make them right to do so. If the law is an ass, why shove your hand in there?

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See

CCTV Britain eh?

Now you WILL be monitored by your local authority and if your actions are found to infringe legislation then they will track you via your car reg and fine you.

Not only that, your local authority is apparently obliged to do so and with apparent impunity no doubt... I would say it's the start of a very slippery slope but it's more like the bit where everything starts to accelerate un-controllably.

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Bronze badge
WTF?

Whudda thunk it?

The Sunday Express - home of the bleedin' heart pinkos determined to stand up for your right to fly-tip

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Unhappy

"It is disappointing to see this in the national press as it's fundamentally not true."

......and yet not really surprising!

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WTF?

Horse Fouling?

What? contacting the DVLA for info regarding horse fouling? I'm not even sure what that is, but good luck tracing me through the DVLA - no horse I've owned had a number plate, although I bet the last lot had it on their 'to do' list.

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Bronze badge

If you live anywhere near riding stables...

You'd know they nail your balls to the wall if you don't reach down and pick up your dog's shit, but horses are seemingly allowed to crap bucketloads across your driveway with complete impunity. Perhaps the solution is to sweep your dog's deposits under one of the ever-handy mounds of equine expulsions...

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MJI
Silver badge

Use it on the garden

Great fertiliser

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DVLA database

Someone fraudulently registered a car to my home address (then got loads of fines/balif letters)

I phoned the DVLA to let them know and they couldnt do anything about it without the guys registration plate. Totally useless ******.

Their solution was to open the post address to this guy >_<

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Go

Hull Council Chief Carl Minns says ....

"It's absolute nonsense to suggest the council has been using DVLA data to spy on people"

Time for an FoI for <quote>an audit trail for inquiries</quote> from said council me thinks.

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WTF?

"horse fouling"

I assume this is letting your horse foul the road, rather than someone 'fouling' a horse... Is it a crime? If so, why do the Police get away with it?

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WTF?

Eh? I don't get it?

So, if someone commits an offence and then uses their car, local councils aren't allowed to use the registration number to find out who the offender might be? This is a "good thing" why?

For examples :

Out of control dogs menace someone and shit on the path, then jump into vehicle and drive away. That would be a council issue so they aren't allowed to find out who owns the car that the dogs jump into. (Which would be a good starting point for an investigation.)

The next day, the same out of control dogs savage someone, then jump into vehicle and drive away. That would be a police matter and they're allowed to query the DB.

I say : pillory the Sunday Express for acting like a bunch of criminal friendly pillocks.

As well as whoever specified the rules for querying the database.

Seems sensible that any offence committed by someone who could be identified with the aid of number plate searches would generate a legal query.

PS Did anyone else get confused about why the DVLA would want the council to take away their Waste Electrical Equipment? Too many words, too few different TLAs...

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I'd be amazed too

"Out of control dogs menace someone and shit on the path, then jump into vehicle and drive away."

That would be an amazing sight. Guaranteed thousands of hits on You Tube.

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Happy

re Eh? I don't get it?

It's not only the council that should be looking for those dogs - If I could find them I'd make a fortune. Imagine, dogs that can drive cars... who'd have thunked it?

AC

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@Frank ly

Coffee. Keyboard. You know the drill... Which is quite amazing considering I didn't even have any coffee! ;)

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Totally promiscuous.

Not just local authorities - they'll dish your data out to any old Joe who can fudge up a case of

"reasonable cause".

(From the DVLA website:)

Data Protection and the Road Vehicles Regulations

Regulation 27 of the Road Vehicles (Registration and Licensing) Regulations 2002 provides for the release of information from DVLA’s vehicles register to the police and also to local authorities. The regulation allows us to release data to private or public sector organisations providing they can demonstrate ‘reasonable cause’ to have it and the Data Protection Act does not operate to prevent disclosure of the data where this is done consistently with the data protection principles.

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Megaphone

Unnecessary.

This just seems to be another unnecessary way of getting hold of information that may (or, more likely, may not) be of any use. Most owners who let their dogs foul on the pavement don't normally accompany their pets in their cars. Nor do horseriders for that matter - although it would be an interesting sight... OK, so fly-tippers, perhaps, but the Police can raise a DPA-30 (or whatever form it is now) to request the information from the DVLA, so granting carte blanche access to a private database seems pointless.

I was pulled about 4 years ago by a police officer who had been told the car I was driving was stolen. I sat at the side of the road for 45 minutes (from 11pm to near-on midnight) while the poor bloke who sold me the car tried to convince the hapless rozzers that the deal was above board. Why didn't the police believe us? Because the DVLA hadn't updated their records and still had the owner listed as being in another town. So, a case of guilty UNTIL proven innocent. Fail, fail, fail. Even with the info available they'll still fuck up!

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Unhappy

Police detention without cause

It's your duty to sue the police for false imprisonment if they detained you without cause. It's because not enough people sue them that their attitude is as it is.

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Anonymous Coward

Evidence?

Would this evidence be admissable in a court of law if it was obtained without a warrant? Has it been challenged and tested in a court of law yet? If it's validity isn't challenged the court may permit is by default, it's not until it's challenged that it will be tested. It isn't up to the DVLA or any other government body to say whether or not it's legal, it has to be tested in a court of law. In the last decade or so the civil service have got very cocky in saying what is and isn't legal.

Even so the problem with using the DVLA database is that there is a difference between identifying the registered keeper and the driver at the time the vehicle was spotted. If the car was seen comitting a motoring offence the registered keeper is required by law to respond to a police request to identify the driver. If they can't do so or refuse to do so they may be fined. AFAIK this currently only covers the police, not local authorities. So should the local authority request that the driver of the car be named the registered keeper can say nothing with impunity.

There was a case a while ago where a friend of mine was accused of fly tipping because (and you'll love this) his car had been seen parked in the layby at about the time the tipping occurred. Turns out that "about the time" meant the same week and that the LA had actually tried to pin it on several other drivers. The best part of this was their evidence gathering was not based on CCTV but the say so of a nosy neighbour. Can you imagine that reaching a court of law? The "witness" didn't actually see the offence being comitted but saw a car parked there lagally in the same week as the offence was comitted. Needless to say the accused told the LA to go away and come back when they had some proper evidence and never heard from them again.

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A serious point.

Can I take it that the vast majority of Register readers feel that it's ok for people to drop litter, for dogs to foul the foot path, to dump rubbish where they feel, and that we should just accept it.

All of the above are in the scheme of things relatively trivial to everyone but the people who are affected by it. Do you really like walking down streets covered in excrement and litter, probably not. Are you willing to remonstrate with a dog owner or litterer or fly tipper, absolutely not, bad things might happen. All of these things are stuff we expect others to police for us, and with our reliance on vehicles registration numbers are a good way of identifying people who commit these civil offences which the Police won't investigate. How else would you expect people to be caught and stopped. If the Police are the only people who can use a registration plate to find some one, how do you expect your insurance company to catch the white van man who scrapes the side of you car when you give them the registration number?

I smell a deal of hypocrisy in the air.

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Grenade

What's the problem

I fail to see a problem here. If you don't do anything wrong the Council / Police will have no reason to look up your car / personal details on any database.

Just be a good boy / girl and you have nothing to worry about :)

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