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A few days ago, a police officer knocked on my door in the evening and asked whether I had noticed any disturbances in my street earlier in the day - he said it was in relation to reports that they'd had, and were investigating.

I informed him that I hadn't noticed anything, and he then asked whether I had been at home at the time of the disturbance, and what I was doing at that time, as well as taking my name and date of birth.

What are the reasons/ legal requirements that the police might need my personal information, given that I had not been able to provide any further information/ witness testimony to the incident that they were investigating?

I would understand the need to collect it had I been able to provide any further information regarding the incident, or been asked to provide a witness statement, but given I hadn't been able to, what would the legal reasons be for them to collect/ hold this information?

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    This is why you never talk to police. – Studoku Feb 17 at 12:23
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    There doesn't need to be a legal reason for anyone to ask you a question. Your neighbour could've come up to your door and asked you the same questions just out of idle curiosity. – Ross Ridge Feb 17 at 19:01
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    @Studoku Never? The last time I had a door-to-door inquiry, they were investigating a local murder where the firearm used had been identified. I had recently bought my house from someone who had a license for the same type of firearm. I'm sure if I had told them I had no information at all about the guy who had sold me the house a couple of weeks before, and refused to give them any form of identification, they would have just said "aw, shucks, that was a waste of a visit" and that would have been the end of it .... not. – alephzero Feb 18 at 0:41
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    @alephzero My mistake. The fact that the police strongarm people into talking is a great reason to talk to them... not. – Studoku Feb 18 at 1:20
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    @studoku I appreciate that there can be cases of improper conduct/ abuse of a position of authority, etc within the police, but I'd hardly call asking a question 'strongarming'. If everyone adopted the mindset of 'never talking to police', it would make their job much harder. As a member of the public, I would like to help an investigation when called upon if I possibly can. – Noble-Surfer Feb 19 at 9:28
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What are the reasons/ legal requirements that the police might need my personal information, given that I had not been able to provide any further information/ witness testimony to the incident that they were investigating?

The police in have a duty to undertake reasonable lines of enquiry and to carry out a proportionate investigation in to allegations of crime.

No-one is legally obliged to answer house to house questions but, notwithstanding the honesty and integrity of the majority of members of the public, any information held by the police may need to be corroborated to identify or eliminate suspects, witnesses, evidential opportunities or other lines of enquiry.

Also, if it is established that someone has no information that may assist the investigation this is recorded to prevent duplication of effort thus enabling the police to focus their resources accordingly.

All the while complying with the relevant privacy and data retention legislation.

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    Notably, the fact that OP didn't hear anything at the prescribed time is also a form of evidence. For example, if one neighbour had reported another neighbour for (supposedly) breaching a noise protection order. – Richard Feb 17 at 22:22

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