In LXD and Ors v Chief Constable of Merseyside Police  EWHC 1685 (Admin), the Administrative Court found that the police had not breached its obligations under Articles 2, 3 and 8 of the Human Rights Act 1998 in its response to a threat to kill LXD and her children. Dingemans J, as he then was, encouraged mediation where the recipient of such a threat sought to challenge the adequacy of the police’s risk assessment or the protective measures that the police have put in place. The judge also questioned the appropriateness of a claim for judicial review being brought in these circumstances, which are likely to involve disputes of fact.
In Catt v United Kingdom  ECHR 76, the European Court departed from and disagreed with the Supreme Court, holding that the police’s collection and retention of data of a peaceful protestor was an unlawful interference with Article 8 of the Convention.
Mr Catt was a 94-year-old man from Brighton; a peaceful protestor who regularly attended public demonstrations since 1947. In 2005, he began attending demonstrations held by ‘Smash EDO’. Although there was often serious disorder and criminality at Smash EDO’s protests, Mr Catt only ever attended in a peaceful capacity and was never charged with anything.
In 2010, he made a ‘subject access request’ to the police, to identify what records, if any, they held on him. The police disclosed sixty-six entries identifying his attending protests between 2005 and 2009. Some were EDO Smash protests, many were other protests. All of these records were held on the police’s “Extremism Database”.
The Association of Chief Police Officers, ‘ACPO’, refused to delete the entries on Mr Catt. They failed to give any reasons for this refusal, and so Mr Catt judicially reviewed ACPO’s decision. In so doing, he claimed a breach of his article 8 right to privacy.
In R (CL) v Chief Constable of Greater Manchester & Secretary of State for the Home Department  EWHC 3333 (Admin), the Divisional Court held that the retention by the police of crime reports which related to sexting incidents in which a schoolboy had allegedly been involved did not breach his rights under Article 8 ECHR.
The decision confirmed that the retention of data by the police in accordance with the prevailing regulatory and statutory data protection framework and relevant guidance was in accordance with the law for the purposes of Article 8(2) whether the alleged offender was an adult or a child.
The duty to have regard to the need to safeguard and promote the welfare of children did not mandate the deletion of data: the best interests of any children concerned was a primary, but not determinative, consideration.
In Griffiths v (1) Chief Constable of Suffolk (2) Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust  EWHC 2538 (QB), the High Court dismissed claims that the Chief Constable and the NHS Trust were negligent in breaching their duties of care or had breached human rights. The case is interesting for reaffirming three points:
i. the law will generally not impose liability on a defendant for failing to prevent harm caused by someone else;
ii. obligations under Article 2 (right to life) or Article 3 (prohibition of torture) of the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) will not arise where the institution does not know of a real risk that those rights would be breached; and
iii. where there is a protective duty in respect of ECHR, Articles 2 or 3, a breach of Article 8 (respect for private and family life) cannot succeed where Articles 2 or 3 are not themselves breached.
The Home Office has issued revised Guidance on the use of covert surveillance or human intelligence sources by public authorities under part 2 of the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act (RIPA) 2000.
The codes of practice also provide guidance on entry or interference with property or wireless telegraphy by public authorities under section 5 of the Intelligence Services Act 1994 or part 3 of the Police Act 1997.
The link to the documents is here.