Suppose that a person A would like to report a crime of which they’ve become a victim, to the police. For this purpose the police typically require the victim’s date of birth in order to create a crime report.

With one’s date of birth, police are also equipped to check one for wanted circulations and warrants. If they find one, then the individual would be subject to arrest.

On the one hand, in supplying one’s date of birth one benefits by enabling the police to create a crime report. On the other hand, by supplying one’s birthdate to police one also risks arrest by enabling them to search for relevant warrants and circulations.

Can A provide their date of birth to police on the basis that they are permitted to use this personal data for the purpose of recording and investigating their crime report, but not to use it to check for outstanding warrants to which A may be subject?

I expect that whatever the answer legally, in practice, such a stipulation would rouse more suspicion in a policeman than otherwise, and they would likely scoff in the reporting party’s face at the stipulation. And I expect that legally, they may even have a basis to do so under the GDPR/DPA2018. But if they didn’t, and they contravened the data subject’s usage permission by using the collected data for an unpermitted purpose, ie searching for warrants to which A is subject, then perhaps A would be due compensation for the data breach under the legislation.

What then is the legal standing?

1 Answer 1


UK police can use your personal data to, among other things, “bring offenders to justice”

You can read the Met’s Privacy Policy here. Because their legal basis for processing data for that purpose is to fulfil their legal obligations, they don’t need your permission and can override your wishes on the matter.

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