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Probe demanded over Met Police personal data hoard

CAMPAIGNERS demanded yesterday that the Met Police face a full regulatory investigation for its repeated refusal to hand over personal data on activists.

The Network for Police Monitoring (Netpol) complained to Information Commissioner Christopher Graham that the force was using delaying tactics to delay its legal obligation to tell people if they’re on its “secret surveillance database.”

The group said the Met failed to respond within the legally required 40 days to 70 per cent of subject access requests it received.

Netpol co-ordinator Kevin Blowe said: “As well as a breach of data protection legislation, the Met’s systemic failure to provide vital personal data when asked to do so raises wider public interest issues, about police accountability and the potential misuse of covert surveillance.”

The group has pushed for legal action against Met commissioner Bernard Hogan-Howe and Home Secretary Theresa May over the legality of its “domestic extremism” database, expecting a judicial review to reach the High Court later this year.

Green Party London AM Jenny Jones is one of the many activists who has been under surveillance by the Met-managed National Domestic Extremism and Disorder Intelligence Unit

“I asked for my Met file, paid my £10, waited several weeks, then got a ‘file’ that consisted of a mishmash of events I’d spoken at and things I’d tweeted,” she told the Star.

Ms Jones — who is herself taking legal action against the government over alleged tapings of her communications — said she was incredulous of the little intel the Met had kept on her.

“They hadn’t even included the time I’d driven a vanload of activists to help close down a power station,” she said.

“Either they are incompetent, or they didn’t give me all the information they hold.

“It’s time the Met learnt that in many areas, secrecy can be the worst policy.”

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