Police want new and expanded rights to access medical records and other confidential data without an individual's consent, a senior police chief has told the Guardian. Sir Peter Fahy, the Greater Manchester chief constable, said the extra access to sensitive data was needed to help police cope with growing numbers of vulnerable people.The sort of vulnerable people they ‘help’ by failing to turn up when they dial 999, or looking the other way while they seize and die in custody, or taser while they are out for a walk, perhaps?
He said demands had changed over the past two decades, with vulnerable groups now accounting for around 70% of police work. "We need to have easier access to information," he said.Oh, right. Of course. God forbid your officers don’t have an easy life, eh? What are our rights compared to that?
Fahy accepted the public may be sceptical about his calls for greater powers …No shit, Sherlock!
… but said privacy concerns which either deny officers access to information or slow the process down cost police money and time.Wait, they cost us – the taxpayer – money and time, don’t they? And so I think we’ll be the judge of whether that’s OK or not.
Opposition to this comes from a rather unlikely source:
Dr Tony Calland, of the British Medical Association, said: "The essential principle that runs throughout the recording of medical information is that of confidentiality and trust. This principle has stood the test of time for millennia and still holds good today. "At present the checks and balances in the current legal position are satisfactory and whilst the current law may cause some difficulty for the police the case has not been made to recommend a substantial change in the law ."In other words, Fahy, Foxtrot Oscar! Blimey, you know you’re on the wrong path when the BMA are saying ‘Woah there! That’s a bit too strong!’, don’t you?
But it seems he’s just getting warmed up! Oh, he has a whole list of things he wants to see to usher in his Brave New Policing World:
Fahy believes a national register of vulnerable people should be created.Should they have to wear some sort of … distinguishing mark…on their clothing, maybe? You know, to help your officers?
A more controversial example is a woman suffering from domestic violence, where Fahy said doctors or medical professionals would know or suspect there was a problem but not tell the police or other agencies. Fahy said agencies might need to radically rethink the way they work. He said medical professionals could breach confidentiality and share information to prevent further harm.This is going to prove an interesting little dilemma, isn’t it? How can radical feminists argue, on the one hand, that a woman’s body is sacrosanct & her rights to independence are inviolate and then, on the other hand, that she’s just a poor little waif who needs to cede her rights to the Big Strong State who will look after them for her?
In return police would promise not to "put the door in and arrest", and work with agencies to solve the problem: "The alternative is the woman continues to suffer … There should be the ability to share the information, against the woman's wishes, to solve the problem, without a criminal justice system approach. Society has matured – there is a far greater expectation on public services to safeguard vulnerable people.
"Twenty years ago, with domestic abuse, it was seen as one of those things. Now there's a greater expectation agencies will safeguard the victim whether or not they wish to make a complaint and enter the criminal justice system."
So at the very least, this will pit the abortion-on-demand crowd against the domestic-violence crowd. *popcorn*
He accepted that trust in state power had been damaged after the revelations from the whistleblower Edward Snowden about the extent of state surveillance: "The danger is [revelations] from Snowden create an atmosphere of suspicion of why public services want to access the information."Really? Because it seems to me that we had ‘a good public service’ in the past, when the police just fought crime.
But he said: "If you want a good public service it is crucial that there is increased information sharing, properly overseen and regulated."
It’s only now that the progressives have wrecked the system and made them a combination of UN aid distributor and social worker that people like you are clamouring to have ever more increasing powers to save people from themselves.
Maybe it’s time we just went back to those Peelian principles?