Tens of thousands of innocent members of the public who report crimes are having their personal details stored on a 'secret' police database.So, just say ‘No’. How hard can it be?
Those calling 999 about an incident or witnesses to crimes are routinely being asked for their ethnicity and date of birth, it has emerged.
After all, it’s voluntary, as they have to admit…
A spokesman for North Yorkshire Police confirmed that callers are routinely asked their name, date of birth and ethnicity.The problem is, as Longrider points out, no-one says ‘no’ anymore. We have been selectively conditioned to obey.
Assistant Chief Constable Sue Cross said it was 'categorically wrong' to suggest that the force was operating a 'secret database'.
She said: 'Data quality is an essential factor in being effective, which is why we request that individuals who come into contact with North Yorkshire Police provide additional information regarding their date of birth and ethnicity.
'Whilst this is completely voluntary on the part of each person, this desirable information allows the police to create a unique person record which can help to accurately identify repeat callers who may be subject of ongoing problems with crime and anti-social behaviour or other issues such as domestic violence.'
When I went to set up a hospital x-ray appointment for my arm, the receptionist asked me for my mobile phone number. I said ‘no’; she looked up in surprise and said ‘Don’t you have one?’.
I replied that I did, but she wasn’t having it, as it wasn’t necessary, nor would I be giving her my work number. She looked even more surprised at that!
A spokesman for the National Policing Improvement Agency, which issued the guidance on information management to forces across the country, said officers should only record details proportionate to the offence.Really?
He added: 'For example, more information may be required for a murder compared to a witness to shoplifting. And ethnicity may be an issue in a race hate crime.'
Even if you are just dialling 999 to report one? Pull the other one!
So why are the police keeping these details anyway?
The police system of record keeping was reformed following the Bichard inquiry into the Soham murders, which saw Humberside and Cambridgeshire police being heavily criticised for their failings in maintaining intelligence records on Ian Huntley./facepalm.
That law of unexpected consequences strikes again….