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The day in FOIA: Police National Database, MPs accounts concerns and violent criminals released from prison by mistake

Police share more than 50m records about members of the public

The extent of police intelligence records about people who have not been charged or convicted of any crime has been revealed under the Freedom of Information Act.

The disclosures show that around 14m Metropolitan police intelligence reports and 38m from other forces, gathered routinely because they may prove useful, are being made available to all of Britain’s police agencies on the Police National Database (PND). Figures obtained by the Guardian show the PND – in 2011 – contains at least 317.2m records.

The Met intelligence files includes details about protesters who have attended demonstrations, unconvicted “persons of interest”, associates of criminals, including lists of phone numbers stored on perpetrators’ phones, allegations of crimes, and victims of sexual or domestic abuse. The database also contains almost 40,000 images.

Read more.

Ryan Gallagher | The Guardian | August 21 2012

Tax inspector in row with MPs over expenses

Tax inspectors have raised concerns over MPs claiming accountancy fees on expenses, documents released under a Freedom of Information request reveal.

HM Revenue and Customs officials said they were “concerned” that the fees might amount to personal benefits – on which tax would be payable – rather than work-related costs.

But the MPs’ expenses watchdog replied that they were a “business cost”.

The e-mail exchanges were seen by the Guardian newspaper.

Read more.

BBC | August 2012

Paperwork errors sees violent criminals released by mistake

An arsonist and a violent criminal are among prisoners who have been wrongly released from Strangeways prison.

They are among four inmates at the high-security jail who have been released in error in the past four years. Two were never put back behind bars.

The details, obtained under the Freedom of Information Act, show that a prisoner jailed for arson was released in September 2008 because of incorrect records. He was not returned to Strangeways – now known as HMP Manchester – until 13 months later.

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The Telegraph | August 21 2012



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