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back to article Police told: Delete old criminal records

The Information Tribunal has told five police forces to remove old, minor criminal records from their databases. Some of the cases date back 30 years. They include a person under 18 who was fined £15 for stealing a 99p packet of meat in 1984; a girl under 14 cautioned for a minor assault who was told her record would not be …

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Syd

@Edward Rose

I chose my words carefully - these people are "IN EFFECT" barred for life - put yourself in this position - you are asked to help out. You can either:

a) Admit that you have a criminal record (albeit for a very minor offence a very long time ago) and risk being ostracised because of it, because the person in charge decides that it DOES actually matter. (Even if the person in charge is subsequently very discreet, someone will always be there to ask an awkward question - "We are short of hands this week - didn't you say you'd help out at the Sunday School?")

b) Say up front, "sorry I'm too busy".

So... "in effect" barred for life then!

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@Mark

>> Well, DNA record is PART of the record, you doofus.

>>and if you meant "apart from the DNA", how is that going to help? you have a DNA match (this is already being proven to be a lot less useful as a unique match than the poilice say it is) how do you know what they were pulled over for?

How can you have no criminal record and have your DNA is on the database if it's all part of the same record, you double doofus :)

If you're looking for a name that matches your DNA evidence, then what fricken difference does it make what old records have been deleted. If you get 100 names that match the fragment, it's better than starting with nothing.

It's sad that the conduct of the police has ruined the trust of the public, to the point that they would rather it was harder to catch criminals using a valid toolset than risk being stiched up.

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@Richard Harris

>It's not as if the police can go and get a sample from the computer and liberally sprinkle it around the scene of a crime.

It's the criminals you have to worry about. They do leave DNA clues behind such as cigarette ends and chewing gum scavenged from bins. Anything that you've bitten or chewed and then discarded could potentially end up at a crime scene. At this point you become guilty unless you have a really good alibi.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: @peter - inoccent column

I think it's more of a "known but not wanted" flag, in the eyes of the police you are never innocent.

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Stop

Danger of DNA is,...

it reduces personal information to binary format (easily copied!), and can be abused (try to get health insurance if your genetic bio places you at risk of heart attacks).

Watch GATTACA and learn! (And let me know if you get the joke in the movie's title!)

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@Richard Harris

> How can you have no criminal record and have your DNA is on the database if it's all part of the same record, you double doofus :)

You don't need to have committed any crime. Just an arrestable offence. E.g. littering. Creating a public nuisance (yelling "hi"). Not look both ways before crossing the road. Look like you're acting suspiciously (in the officers' estimation).

Triple Doofus!

Did you read the figures? "including half a million people who have not been charged". Quad Damage Doofus!!!

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b
Coat

Re: GATTACA

CTAATGT

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Anonymous Coward

Danger! False positive!

"If you get 100 names that match the fragment, it's better than starting with nothing."

Except when *none* of those people had anything to do with the crime for whatever reason (whether it be by casual/legitimate contact or deliberate obfuscation by the perpetrator). The percieved infallibility of DNA evidence is such that you'll have to have a cast-iron alibi to escape some sort of miscarriage of justice, even if it's only a shed-load of hassle from the pigs.

DNA evidence alone won't be enough to convict you, but it is *plenty* to have your name and reputation besmirched beyond redemption. *And* you'll have this "soft" data on the CRB record that will, by policy in some cases, and by plain old fashioned paranoia/prejudice in others, debarr you from certain, or even, if this craziness goes as far as it might, *any* field of employment.

Be careful with DNA-bearing material that you discard. Some bastard might fit you up just to muddy the waters of their own detection. Do we have to go to the lengths that the superstitious used to to protect themselves from witches? Burn your nail clippings! And your paper tissues!

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This post has been deleted by its author

@ AC: Duh.

The title is comprised entirely from the letters that are the placeholders for the DNA base nucleotides: (A)denine, (T)hymine, (C)ytosine, and (G)uanine.

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Coat

But Nu Labour can beat this

Now watch the government rush through legislation to specifically allow the police to keep these records.

Pic because they'd like to search all our pockets... houses, cars, phone records, internet records, etc.

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Anonymous Coward

Intelligence-based policing

Is it any wonder that there's little sympathy from the public for Plod, at a time when Plod need sympathy and support **and reliable information** more than ever? (No offence meant to the feet on the street, who are **on the whole** (exceptions apply) doing their best in very difficult circumstances. Lions, donkeys, etc).

The local police in 99.7% of the country are invisible. Meanwhile the Chief Constables have done so well for themselves that their mutual business isn't even confined to the Lodges these days; as noted in earlier replies, they've invented a few nice little taxpayer-funded earners on the side.

And meanwhile again, the very same police chiefs haven't yet implemented any worthwhile proportion of the post-Soham recommendations (Bichard report, 2004) on running police intelligence differently, and most of them aren't even running police intelligently (eg like police telephones that get answered or take messages if unanswered - ffs guys IT'S NOT ROCKET SCIENCE, even after you paid your mates down the Lodge tens of millions for an overpriced and frequently dysfunctional command/control/dispatch system whose front end can't even derive locations from postcodes so you have to spell strange names out in full over a crappy VoIP network... grrr).

There's a recent piece on BBC news about a couple who were angry that it took police 13 hours to respond to a burglary. Where most folks live, the news would be that the police *did* actually respond to an ordinary burglary:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/wales/7512809.stm

Meanwhile, The Powers That Be are preaching at kids not to carry knives: "no need to have a weapon just to feel safe", even if the kids don't intend to use them for real. But when The Powers That Used To Be, Tony B Liar and his best mate Gordon B Ruin, also say "we have to have these weapons, just to feel safe, but we really truly hope we don't need to use them", it's supposed to be somehow different, because Gordon and Tony are talking about nuclear weapons and not daggers?

And let's not even start about Tony's lies, war crimes, and corruption politely being swept under the carpet by the folks with their snouts in the Westminster trough.

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Re A/C ACPO spawned ACRO in 2006

The certificate procedure for visas is effectively moving from a cheap legislated (and slow) process, the data subject access, to an opaque expensive process controlled by a private entity. This happened earlier this year. I also find this of concern.

More at http://gizmonaut.net/blog/travel/acpo_police_certificates.html

br -d

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@Syd

Yup, the ultimate crime is is to break the 11th commandment:

"Thou may act as thou chooseth so long as thou doest not get caught."

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Paris Hilton

Is it a Copper's friend

Who or what is Jacquie Smith.

I am in NZ so don't know all your local scumbags.

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Coat

@ Bruce from NZ

Jacqui Smith isn't real:- it's all a big front......

Hat, coat & 42-day disappearance.....

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Jobs Halo

DNA crime catchers

Of course DNA can catch the criminal even when their DNA is not on the Police database, but the criminals relative is. Also the killer of Sally Anne Bowman was found after he was arrested for fighting and his DNA taken, he was never charged with fighting and from the comments above the feeling seems to be his DNA should have been destroyed, or not taken. Luckily it wasn't. As for Soham, Ian Huntleys crime details were destroyed before they should have been.

My DNA is available on request. I am distantly related to Adolf Hitler and Stalin. (Very distantly, like from the first human).

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Anonymous Coward

@@@Checking their records under (presumably) data protection legislation

Send them a formal letter stating that you are making a Data Subject Access Request and that you want to have copies of all data held by them in whatever form and details to whom they have disclosed such data . Make the request as wide as possible and yet specific in areas such as who have they disclosed data to etc.

Include £10 cheque or postal order. Do not stand for the bullshit 20 page form they send you to fill in, ALL they are entitled to do is ensure you are who you say you are. Any problems rung Information Commissioner for advice on 01625 545745

https://www.ico.gov.uk/Global/contact_us.aspx

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Dead Vulture

@Anonymous Coward

Odd that you don't care for OTHERS' privacy. Yet you hide your name.

Something to fear?

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Happy

Comical criminal record

My father _still_ has a criminal record for stealing "half a sausage" around 30 years ago, where he was ordered to pay costs of 7 and a half pence!

How do you steal half a sausage? Apparently a pub were very unhappy when he picked up a half eaten sausage off a plate of a customer that had left.

Madness!

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