Friday, May 19, 2006

Widening access to police intelligence

A very troubling item in today's Guardian:
Neighbourhood wardens, community support officers, park keepers, housing officers and other frontline council staff should be given regular access to local police intelligence in an attempt to clamp down on antisocial behaviour and other low-level crime, under plans being examined by Downing Street.
We've already touched on the wide range of data that police gather as 'intelligence', especially about children and young people. We should add that they also hold information about, for example, (consensual) underage sexual activity - and yet another example of unjustifiable data storage came to our attention yesterday.

The current situation is quite worrying enough, without widening access to databases containing what may amount to nothing more than speculation, the subjective opinion of a police constable, or information that is, frankly, nobody's business at all.


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