22 JUNE 2004
This week Sir Michael Bichard’s report was published following an investigation on how Ian Huntley could get a job as a school caretaker despite previous sex allegations. Humberside Police had deleted Huntley’s records—initially claiming that this was done to comply with their interpretation of the Data Protection Act—whilst Cambridgeshire Constabulary were criticised for errors which meant that background checks were not carried out when Huntley applied for the job.
I was surprised to find out that police records still aren’t completely shared on a national level:
“The home secretary said the police national computer did not currently hold intelligence information and that all 43 forces in England and Wales had operated individual systems for handling such data.”
Before the report was published, Humberside Police’s Chief Constable David Westwood said that he recognised that a lot of mistakes had been made but that he would not resign. Following the publication of the report, the home secretary called on Humberside Police Authority to suspend him. Reports today are of Westwood stating that he is still in charge.
I think he’ll be out of his job by the end of the week. When the government calls on someone to be suspended, they’ll have ways of making it happen. [Full story @ BBC]