Foreign police also want open access to the UK’s national DNA database
But MPs and civil liberties groups fear identity mistakes will lead to Britons being wrongly accused of crimes
By JAMES SLACK, Daily Mail, 9 January 2013
Brussels is demanding that 26 police forces across the EU should have access to the personal details of every motorist in Britain.
The Government is being threatened with fines totalling millions of pounds unless it obeys the ‘Orwellian’ edict.
Foreign police also want open access to the UK’s national DNA database and fingerprint records so they can check them against crime scenes and camera footage.
MPs and civil liberties groups fear identity mistakes will lead to Britons being accused of crimes they have not committed.
But there is particular alarm at the idea of overseas police having access to information about every registered driver in the UK.
The Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency database contains details of 38million drivers.
If foreign police give the British authorities a single wrong digit from a number plate – or if criminals have cloned a UK registration – then the officers would be given names, addresses, purchase details and a wealth of other personal information on the wrong suspect.
Motorists could then face a lengthy ordeal to prove their innocence. There are fears that, once a foreign force has the DVLA data, it could fall into the wrong hands or be ‘lost’.
Concerns have also been raised about checks against Britain’s DNA database, which is the largest in the world. Some EU countries have worryingly high error rates when it comes to checking DNA samples.
European rules allow police to conduct tests of a lower quality than are permitted in Britain.
Academics in the Netherlands, which has been running the scheme for four years, found that two-thirds of ‘matches’ at the lowest level wrongly identified an innocent person as a genetic match.