Police forces throughout the UK like to keep records on as many people as possible. This is important to them as that is how they keep an eye on us. It makes their replies to criminal record checks more informed – not necessarily accurate but more informative.  Police records are real problem nowadays for too many people.

They do not limit themselve to keeping records of people who have been convicted by the courts. If you have come to their attention the chances are they made a record and put you in it. An example of their acquisitiveness arises in the situation where a person is street bailed for an investigation into whether they were in possession of drugs. They then prove that the person was not in possession of drugs, has never come to their attention and is not a concern to them but they record that the person was arrested for possession of a class A drug. Ok, they also mention that they took no further action but the record blights that person’ s career prospects.

If you think the police will react reasonably when it is pointed out to them that the data is retained in breach of the Data Protection Act as nobody has an interest in being told the data subject has not committed a crime afterall and therefore there is no policing purpose to its retention then think again. We need to argue with them and then go to the Information Commissioner to argue that the Chief Constable (who is the data controller for the county) is in breach of his duties under the Act, may be criminally liable and ought to be ordered to pay compensation.

Rather than face up to the obvious and comply with the DPA, the police make you go through all this procedure and take the chance that they will end up criticised and possibly have to destroy many more records as a consequence.

Unfortunately this is why you need lawyers like us. Unfortunately you are put to expense to secure your rights but it is vital to do so as the alternative is to blight your career with a negative DBS certificate.

Clarke Kiernan, ‘Rehabilitation Issues’ solicitors,
1 Lamberts Yard, Tonbridge, TN9 1ER
Phone: 01732360999, Fax : 01732353835, email: dennis clarkeMap