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SPECIAL RULES ON THE GRANTING OF AUTHORISATIONS AND GIVING OF NOTICES IN SPECIFIC MATTERS OF PUBLIC INTEREST paras 5.1 to 5.3

SPECIAL RULES ON THE GRANTING OF AUTHORISATIONS AND GIVING OF NOTICES IN SPECIFIC MATTERS OF PUBLIC INTEREST

Sudden deaths, serious injuries and vulnerable persons


5.1 There are circumstances when the police undertake enquiries in relation to specific matters of public interest where the disclosure of communications data may be necessary and proportionate. For example:

  • locating and notifying next of kin following a sudden or unexpected death;
  • locating and notifying the next of kin of a seriously injured person;
  • locating and notifying the next of kin or responsible adult of a child or other vulnerable person where there is a concern for the child’s or the vulnerable person’s welfare.

5.2 Often a telephone, telephone number or other communications details may be the only information available to identify a person or to identify their next of kin or a person responsible for their welfare.

5.3 Under the Act communications data may be obtained and disclosed in serious and urgent welfare cases where it is necessary within the meaning of section 22(2)(g) and the conduct authorised or required is proportionate to what is sought to be achieved by obtaining the data.

Comments

5.4 Data obtained for this purpose must be securely safeguarded (penalties for disclosure?) and must be securely destroyed once the immediate need has passed (time limit, 24 hours).

Why has the Home Office pre-empted this Public Consultation by issuing and having Parliament rubber-stamp:

Statutory Instrument 2006 No. 1878 - The Regulation of Investigatory Powers (Communications Data) (Additional Functions and Amendment) Order 2006 ?

"Made 12th July 2006

Coming into force 26th July 2006"

Additional purposes of section 22(2) of the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000 2. The following additional purposes are specified for the purposes of section 22(2) of the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000 (to the extent that they do not fall within paragraphs (a) to (g) of that provision)—

(a) to assist investigations into alleged miscarriages of justice;

(b) for the purpose of—

(i) assisting in identifying any person who has died otherwise than as a result of crime or who is unable to identify himself because of a physical or mental condition, other than one resulting from crime, or

(ii) obtaining information about the next of kin or other connected persons of such a person or about the reason for his death or condition.

Surely the Home Office is in breach of the Cabinet Office guidelines on Public Consultations ?

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