New national police database causes a stir

The human rights group Liberty has accused the police of being in danger of grave infringements of individual’s right to privacy with the implementation of a new super database saying it gives massive powers to the state at the expense of millions of citizens.

Liberty has quit the government consultation panel in protest claiming that the database will deliberately hold information which the police have no legal authority to process.

The new system - the law enforcement data service (LEDS) - will combine and process two existing stores of information: the police national computer, containing criminal convictions, and the police national database, which holds details such as intelligence and more general information sometimes about people with no criminal record.

In addition other bodies could gain access such as the Border Force, HMRC, government departments and credit reference agencies. The system, which will be hosted on a commercially owned cloud facility, is due to be implemented next year.