back to article IT bod flings £1m sueball at Met Police for wrongly listing him as a convicted fraudster

A financial IT worker is suing London's Metropolitan Police for £1m after claiming the force recorded an identity fraudster's criminal conviction against his name. Adekunle "Femi" Adenuga claims police workers wrongly recorded on the Police National Computer (PNC) that he had been convicted of fraud, causing him to lose out on …

  1. The First Dave

    Plod seems to have gone to significant lengths to find multiple reasons why this wasn't them, when you think that one would suffice.

    1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      I don't think that's unusual in civil claims.

    2. MJB7 Bronze badge

      Multiple reasons

      Lawyers *always* like to have multiple reasons.

      1. MiguelC Silver badge

        Re: Multiple reasons

        The "my client most surely didn't killed anyone and also the victim attacked him so it was self-defense" claim?

    3. DavCrav Silver badge

      If I were preparing a defence, and there were several reasons why I was innocent, why should I be required to pick just the one? I think a defence of

      1) I was out of the country,

      2) that picture looks nothing like me,

      3) the person sounds nothing like me, and

      4) you are also out of time for prosecuting me,

      would look pretty convincing. I wouldn't like to decide which of those to pick if taken to court.

      1. gnarlymarley

        If I were preparing a defence, and there were several reasons why I was innocent, why should I be required to pick just the one?

        There was a court case about a substitute school teacher a few years ago who didn't submit all at the time of the case. The courts had blocked new evidence in the case, so it is a good reminder to submit all possible for when the courts may limit any new evidence. If the courts didn't block it maybe I could submit later findings, but I am not sure I would take the chance about having some key evidence being blocked.

        1. DavCrav Silver badge

          When a court blocks new evidence all they are really saying is 'We don't care if you did it or not, let's just get the verdict over and done with.'

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I would be surprised if every applicant for every finance job was passed on to the FCA to do a covert PNC check before any offer of employment. This would be extremely onerous and costly.

    Surely an applicant would only be checked once they had had an interview and be deemed a potential employee, similar to a DBS check?

    Especially as the FCA is a 'supposedly' independent oversser of those organisations. An agreeement to check every applicant would seem way to cushy. However I've not worked in the department that deals directly with the FCA.

    1. Andy The Hat Silver badge

      Wouldn't a data request show whether the FCA did run checks for a person of this name during this period? In addition the results should indicate whether only PNC data or both PNC and CHRIS data was returned ...

    2. katrinab Silver badge

      For certain positions, you need to be registered with the FCA as an approved person. That's where the FCA checks would come in. I don't know how they work.

      Only some jobs, not every finance position though.

    3. Gordon 10 Silver badge
      WTF?

      I would agree. I've worked in FS and not aware of this being done for every employee. They usual use a barely competant outsourcer and only when an offer has been made. It makes no financial sense to do it for candidates.

      Smells like a chancer to me. Certainly more to it than as described.

    4. MJB7 Bronze badge

      Re: Costly

      Depends how much a PNC check costs - reviewing CVs and running interviews is *expensive* - running a PNC check is something that can be done by a lowly (read, cheap) clerk.

      1. Insert sadsack pun here

        Re: Costly

        Experian and the like charge peanuts to do criminal history checks, right to work check, verification of past employment etc. Its highly commoditised and done by lowly clerks. It's not done before an offer tho...

    5. phuzz Silver badge
      Headmaster

      No need to check someone's criminal record, as long as they've gone to the right school and know the correct handshake...

      1. BebopWeBop Silver badge
        Trollface

        Well surely you already suspect the probability if they have gone to the 'right' school but choose not to know as that might get embarrassing at a school or university reunion?

    6. JoMe

      Finance IT is significantly more scrutinized than just any finance bod.

  3. sed gawk Bronze badge

    So, I have to provide DBS certs for jobs which have zero requirement to actually provide them due to over zealous recruiters.

    It's unfortunately the rise of the little 'itler, in positions where they should really not be exercising any authority, sadly that's becoming more and more common an experience.

    It's particularly acute in the public sector, low pay, difficult to fire people, and culture of closing ranks to protect the incompetent. It's endemic in finance roles, despite the regulation not requiring S/W development to meet these criteria.

    The cost of checking is typically passed on to the recruitment agency, rarely will the hirer take the hit of the busybody.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      DBS checks require the permission of the subject and a copy is passed to the subject as well as the requesting organisation. This does not seem to be the same as a covert PNC check done by the FCA on behalf of a finance company for every applicant to a role.

  4. Rol Silver badge

    Given the choice...

    Would you steal a passport and hope to have landed at your destination before its theft was reported or offer someone a wad of cash to borrow it?

    I guess circumstances surrounding the theft left police questioning the claimants story and thus deserving of a question mark in their database.

    1. John G Imrie Silver badge

      Re: Given the choice...

      Ah, the guilty until proven innocent defence.

    2. Ian Emery Silver badge

      Re: Given the choice...

      The outbound arrest smells,

      I know multiple people who have accidentally travelled OUT of the UK without the correct documentation, or with children who werent theirs and not been challenged.

      My sister had this, took my daughter on holiday with her a few times, but only gets challenged ON THE WAY BACK INTO THE UK.

      Customs staff even told her they only check the passports/documents properly on the way into the UK, after her husband accidentally travelled on a passport that had been reported stolen.

      As for "what the system says" claims.

      I had this issue with Experian holding incorrect info; the copy they sent me under disclosure was clean; the copy they sent to others contained info I was a convicted drug dealer.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        outbound passport check

        Travelled by ferry to France a few years back with wife who didn't have UK passport/nationality at the time. No passport check at all outbound. On return she was challenged as to why there was no UK exit stamp. Our response was "not even asked to show passports on exit" (and passport had permanent leave to remain visa so they didn't make a fuss.) Airport passport checks are more thorough.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Given the choice...

      I reported my passport lost and was given a new one. I found it about six months later. Months after that I travelled to South Africa from the UK and while queuing on the way out for SA passport control I realised I had brought the 'lost' passport.

      Never got questioned on the whole trip - albeit this was about 20 years ago.

      1. BebopWeBop Silver badge

        Re: Given the choice...

        My partner (a woman) picked up my passport by mistake when she left the flat we were sharing in Nairobi. She spent five months travelling on it (only realised about 2 weeks before the end of the trip) in Africa, the Middle East and Spain. On her way back to the UK, some problems with her airline meant that I gave her my BA ticket to get back. No one checked to see whether the passport holder (it was her by now) matched the ticket.

        This was 30 years ago though. My, have times changed.

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Given the choice...

      Why would someone offer a wad of cash to someone and get an acceptance for that to use a passport?

      It would be cheaper to buy a stolen passport (or steal one) and the person selling it, who works in the financial services, would be completely stupid to let a criminal travel around under their identity. It wouldn't be worth the risk. Much more likely to be stolen, I'd say.

  5. Kubla Cant Silver badge

    Write-only databases

    The problem is that the Police always use a unique write-only database technology. Once something's in there, you can look at it but you can't delete it or change it. That's why it's also impossible for them to delete DNA profiles of innocent people and randomly-identified pictures of members of the public.

    If only there was a kind of database that allowed updates and deletions...

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