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Cheers - AE

Wednesday, 13 July 2011

Known to the police

With all the other stuff going on, carbon taxes here and tabloid phone not-really-hacking there, it's easy to forget that other things are going on. Good job Nanny Knows Best blogged this because even though I ranted about it last month it had slipped my mind.
Nanny, possibly relieved at the avalanche of data being spewed forth about the Murdoch empire's "moral lapses", recently and rather quietly launched "The Police National Database".

Another day, another database!

This particular database will hold the records up to 6 million apparently innocent people, including every victim of sexual assault and domestic violence.


Jennie Cronin, a director at the National Police Improvement Agency (NPIA), the body in charge of the database, estimated that the records of between 10 and 15 million people would be held (that's between 16% to 24% of the entire population).

Given that approximately 9.2 million people in the UK have criminal records, that leaves up to almost 6 million on the database who are we assume innocent.
NKB save the best 'til last.
Approximately 12,000 approved police officers and staff will be able to access the database.

Would these be of the same quality and high ethical standards as those who allegedly sold information and contact details of all and sundry (including the Queen) to News International?
Bullseye! And since some of those six million will have very pressing reasons for wanting their information to never, ever get out - more pressing than most of the rest of us, I mean - it should be a pretty big concern that all this data is sitting there in one place, just waiting for the wrong person to offer the right cop the right incentive. I'd hope that the vast majority would be above that but even if the number of incorruptible officers with access was 99.9% of the total that still leaves a dozen who'll take the money.

Now, hands up who believes that 12,000 with access won't become 20,000 within a couple of years and fifty thousand within a decade. Anyone? No?

Funny that.
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