Is the Metropolitan Police Service actually legally registered under the Data Protection Act ?

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Is the Metropolitan Police Service actually legally registered under the Data Protection Act ?

The Information Commissioner's Office website allows you to search the official Register of Data Controllers, using , say, the keywords Name= "Police" and Address = "London":

Total Records found 16

ASSOCIATION OF POLICE AUTHORITIES LIMITED
BRITISH TRANSPORT POLICE FEDERATION
CHIEF CONSTABLE BRITISH TRANSPORT POLICE
COMMISSIONER OF POLICE FOR THE CITY OF LONDON
COMMUNITY POLICE CONSULTATIVE GROUP FOR LAMBETH LTD
EALING COMMUNITY & POLICE CONSULTATIVE GROUP
INDEPENDENT POLICE COMPLAINTS COMMISSION
METROPOLITAN AND CITY POLICE ORPHANS FUND
METROPOLITAN POLICE AUTHORITY
METROPOLITAN POLICE TRADING SERVICE
POLICE NEGOTIATING BOARD
PSDS LTD
SPLASH WILTSHIRE - (SCHOOLS AND POLICE LIAISON ACTIVITIES FOR SUMMER HOLIDAYS)
THE POLICE INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY ORGANISATION
WILTSHIRE CONSTABULARY POLICE FEDERATION
WILTSHIRE POLICE AUTHORITY

i.e. every public body to do with the Police in London, except for the Metropolitan Police Service or the Metropolitan Police Commissioner (alternatively legally known as the Commissioner of Police for the Metropolis). Those in Wiltshire etc. have "London" in their address e.g. London Road.

Trying other keywords such as Constable, Commissioner, Metropolitan, Metropolis etc, list the Data Protection Register entries for every other Police Force in the UK., but not the MPS.

Even the Security Service MI5 has a Data Protection Register, after all, there are plenty of exemptions to deny access to members of the public to any sensitive information.

So where is the current registration of the Metropolitan Police Service under the Data Protection Act ?

For the purposes of the Police National Computer, and the National DNA Database, and the National ANPR Database etc., it is the Chief Constable of each Police Force, who is meant to be the "Data Controller".

If there is no current, valid DPA Register registration for the Metropolitan Police Commissioner or the Metropolitan Police Service, or if the old one has run out, then that makes any use of these core police database systems illegal, and some guilty criminals will undoubtedly walk free from Court and might be awarded financial compensation, which we,as London taxpayers, will have to foot the bill for.

It seems inconceivable that there is an ongoing clerical error at the Office of the Information Commissioner, especially as this situation has been brought to their attention , and to that of the Metropolitan Police Service over a month ago.

It might not be deemed by the Information Commissioner, who is the only person who can enforce the Data protection Act, for it to be in the public interest to actually prosecute the MPS for failing to have a current Register entry, but that will not reduce the problems which may be caused in the Courts as a result.

Why has the Metropolitan Police Authority, who are meant to be scrutinising the budgets , systems and policies of the Metropolitan Police Service on our behalf, not investigated this unacceptable situation ?

4 Comments

I asked the Public Access Office of the MPS about this. So far in the few emails I received, this point was ignored.

I haven't got a satisfactory answer to any of the questions I asked and it's been more than two weeks since the last email I received so I need to follow up!

br -d

The Metropolitan Police Authority, which governs the Service (and of which Sir Ian Blair is a member) is on your list, so therefore I think that means it is legally registered under the Data Protection Act.

@ London Salmon - No ! - the Metropolitan Police Authority is a completely separate legal entity from the Metropolitan Police Service, which they are meant to audit and set the budgets for.

The MPA's Data Protection Register entry

http://www.esd.informationcommissioner.gov.uk/esd/DoSearch.asp?reg=3134323

covers its own internal uses and systems, but not any of those belonging to the Metropolitan Police Service or Commissioner, especially not the Met Police's intelligence databases and data which it provides to the Police National Computer etc.

The same applies to all the other Police Authorities and the regional Police Forces throughout the country, except that they all do have a valid, current Data Protection Register entry, whilst the Metropolitan Police Service still does not, apparently..

You would expect the "nissing" Met Police DPR entry to be very similar to that of the Commissioner of Police for the City of London entry:

http://www.esd.informationcommissioner.gov.uk/esd/DoSearch.asp?reg=3170846

or that of say, the Chief Constable of the Greater Manchester Police:

http://www.esd.informationcommissioner.gov.uk/esd/DoSearch.asp?reg=3185756

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