Civil servants have refused to name inmates who have fled prison even though individual police forces will often identify them if they pose a risk to the public.

They say releasing their names would breach obligations under the Data Protection Act.

3 thoughts on “Blimey”

  1. And, for the benefit of Her Majesty’s Civil Service, and society as a whole, may I present to your readers the “The Data Protection (Processing of Sensitive Personal Data) Order 2000” and draw their attention to s3(1)(b)(i).

    It should not be necessary to point out, but it is indicative of the appalling state of this once-great nation that I feel the need so to do, that escaping from prison is an “unlawful act” in accordance with the text of the SI.

    I would also note, in a more humorous vein, that you don’t actually need to have escaped from prison – under the SI, alleged unlawful acts can be disclosed, therefore they only need to have misplaced you!

  2. Quite. This has come up before, it was bollocks then, and it’s bollocks now.

    The reason the authorities are actually giving for not disclosing the names isn’t the DPA, it’s ‘in the public interest not to disclose’. That’s probably arse-covering because they don’t want to give out the list, but researching a true story along the lines of “inept managers try and cover things up” fits the Telegraph’s ethos rather less well than making up one about “OMG IT’S POLITICAL CORRECTNESS GONE MAD!!!”.

  3. I agree that they are hiding behind a lie, probably to save government embarassment. It is quite likely that they do not want us finding out who the escapees are, because then we would know what their crimes were, and how rapidly they have been shunted into a low security prison.

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