People who have reported crimes to the cops could have their details stored on a police database.
That’s according to a freedom of information request from the Press Association, which has found that police forces across the UK keep the details of those who call 999 or non-emergency numbers to make a report.
The measures have been described as “dangerous” by privacy groups who have also warned that keeping details of the public could prevent them from calling in crimes.
Daniel Hamilton at Big Brother Watch told TechEye: “For the Police to log this kind of information isn’t just wrong – it’s dangerous. The public must be confident that, when they report a crime, they do so in the comfort of anonymity and without risk of their details being stored on a central Police database which can be accessed by thousands of people.
“This information must be deleted before public confidence in the Police takes yet another hit”.
The West Midlands Police force was found to have stored more than a million records on people who have reported offences over the past 12 years, while others including the likes of
Lancashire, Cleveland, Avon and Somerset, Gloucestershire, West Mercia and North Wales, hold more than 150,000 each.
The Press Association said that senior PC plods admitted that the stored information could be used against the public in the future. However, they added that they also kept the information to ensure matters were dealt with efficiently.