Campaign for the deletion of innocent police records
A new online petition calling for the deletion of all innocent records from the Police National Database (PND) at the same time that innocent DNA is deleted has been launched BMH UK.
This petition has been time to coincide with the launch by the National Policing Improvement Agencies' (NPIA) launch of the PND, which allows police forces to share locally held information across the country.
The PND has gathered together information from more than 150 local databases into one national system.
A total of 53 police bodies in England, Wales, Scotland and the British Transport police will be able to use this database.
Up to 15 million peope's details are estimated to appear on the database, including the million or so innocent people who were profiled on teh National Criminal DNA database. Reports indicate that this new Police Database will be accessed by an estimated 12,000 officers.
BMH UK say that the changes need to be made to the Protection of Freedoms Bill to include the deletion of innocent people’s police records and photographs at the same time as their DNA and fingerprint records.
‘We are calling on people to support our new petition to ensure that this new technology that is designed to assist the police fight crime does not inadvertently sweep up the innocent with the guilty.
This in itself is an injustice that will disproportionately impact on the lives of people from the UK’s African Caribbean Communiti es and mental health services users,’ Matilda MacAttram director of Black Mental Health UK said.
The human rights campaign group has renewed calls for the deletion of all innocent records amid fears that without this commitment millions of innocent people will continue to be criminalised by the new Police National Database.
Criminalising the innocent
BMH UK have warned that all innocent people who currently profiled on the DNA database will be swept up with criminals and suspects who have criminal links when the Police National DNA Database goes live today.
BMH UK ’s online petition is calling for a commitment from Government for ensure that the Protection of Freedoms Bill ensures that the records of all innocent people are deleted from the Police National Database (PND) at the same time that their DNA is deleted.
Unless the PNC and PND records are deleted at the same time as well as any photos, up to a million innocent people will still retain the status of a criminal.
These records can be used to refuse someone a visa or a job simply because they have a record of arrest. This can also lead to stigma and discrimination when accessed by officers on the beat.
‘It is the duty of people of conscience to actively ensure that the government is sensitive to the plight of those who often cannot advocate for themselves.
I would encourage as many people as possible to sign up to BMH UK’s new petition so as to make sure that the innocent are not criminalised by this new technology Unless we do, we will be doing less than our duty,’ Archdeacon Daniel Kajumba chair of the Church of England’s Committee for Minority Ethnic Concerns (CMEAC) said.
Unconscionable assult on human rights
For the past three years BMH UK has been campaigning against the way the DNA database has criminalised black Briton.
The DNA profiles of 37% of black men and 77% of young black men, aged between 15 and 34, have been estimated to be on the National DNA Database. Every black family in Britain is affected.
‘This is an unconscionable assault on the human rights on people who have not been convicted of crime as having their records kept on a database that presumes criminality.
Given the disproportionate impact this has on black communities and especially young black men in an economic climate where 50% of young black men between 18 and 24 are now unemployed country, this will further erode the possibility of becoming of them becoming fully able to contribute to the economy and will be a threat to good community relations,’ Olu Alake president of 100 Black Men of London said.
Leaders from the community are concerned that large sections of black Britain will be criminalised by the new Police Database without even knowing it, and will face unnecessary barriers to their progress in life as a consequence of being profiled on this system.
PND hinders integration
‘Britain is no longer a nation where you are innocent until proven guilty. It would be good to go back to the principle but this database doesn’t help, if anything it makes the situation worse.
The black community needs to feel c onfident that they are integrated into British society but the PND undermines that,’ Frederick Clarke director of Mighty Men of Valour said.
Faith leaders have also spoken out against the way the PND will criminalise black Britain and has made a commitment to ensure the community rallies behind BMH UK’s new on line petition.
‘We encourage people to sign BMH UK’s petition and support the call for all innocents to be removed from the Police National Database, because it will criminalise many people who have not done anything wrong, particularly Briton’s black communities.
We will make sure that the weight of the whole community and our church are behind this,’ Bishop Llewellyn Graham, Church of God of Prophesy said.
- Click here to sign BMH UK’s petition calling for innocent records to be deleted from the Police National Computer.
- Click here to support BMH UK’s campaign by writing to you MP to support the call for the deletion of all innocent police records to be included in the Protection of Freedoms Bill.
- The Protection of Freedom Bill is currently at report stage in the House of Commons