Personal data from four times more law-abiding citizens (a total of 181,917 people!) are being stored in British police databases than offenders, this article reveals.
Every time someone calls 999, they are politely asked to accept having their personal detalis introduced in the same database as those of 107,566 ‘aggrieved’ or ‘vulnerably aggrieved’ victims of crimes, while the names of only 38,259 suspects are held.
This yet another example of Orwellian Britain is known to happen only in the case of North Yorkshire Police. What about the other 38 territorial police forces in England, the 8 such law enforcement stuctures in Scotland or the 4 ones in Wales? Or the national ones?
Information is stored for at least 15 years and up to 100, in ‘the most serious cases’ – but who could check the criteria used to consider a case more serious than other? .
According to someone from Privacy International, “a member of the public has to worry about approaching the police for fear of being put on a secret database with suspects,” yet this shouldn’t be the case, police officers believe.
A record of “callers who are victims of ongoing problems,” including data about their ethnicity (relevant in cases of hate crimes), could actually benefit the citizens, a spokesperson from the National Policing Improvement Agency says.
Oh, really? How many Brits feel safer after finding out that their data is stored by the police, possibly for a century from now on? What I considered a very polite gesture of Sussex Police (inviting crime witnesses to show up) may not be ‘risk-free’.
And if this wasn’t worrisome enough, here’s another ‘risk’ associated with being a citizen in the UK. Another ‘scientific myth’ is falling apart, as even DNA fingerprinting techniques (those supposedly ‘infailible’) “can sometimes give the wrong results.”
DNA analysts are subject to pressure, bias and mistakes just like any other human being, and who is comfortable with passing the responsibility of dictating someone’s fate (freedom or imprisonment) from a judge (and/or jury) to a scientist?
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