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.
The Supreme Court in R (AR) v CC Greater Manchester Police  UKSC 47 upheld the inclusion of information in an enhanced criminal record certificate (ECRC) that a person had been acquitted of rape. The judgment shows the importance of chief officers considering with great care the various factors in order to strike a fair balance between the rights of the individual applying for the ECRC as opposed to the wider rights of the community, including vulnerable persons.
Where a police officer makes an unsuccessful application for a panel to recuse itself on the grounds of perceived (or actual) bias, can he apply for judicial review of the decision before exhausting his ‘internal’ right of appeal (under rule 4(4)(c) of the Police Appeals Tribunal Rules 2012)?
The law in foreign, common-law jurisdictions is different but a similar question in relation to a doctor and a misconduct panel was answered affirmatively by the Supreme Court of Appeal of South Africa in Basson v Health Professions Council of South Africa  ZASCA 1.
The value of a Coroner’s inquest in opening up matters to public scrutiny is clearly demonstrated by this highly unusual application by the Chief Executive of the IPCC in R (IPCC) v IPCC  EWHC 2993 (Admin) who, following a searching inquest, brought proceedings against his own organisation to overturn its flawed report into police conduct.
On 7 August 2014 judgment was given in the Administrative Court in the case of Woods and Gorton v Chief Constable of Merseyside Police  EWHC 2784 (Admin). The decision has important implications for all forces in the operation of service confidence policies (SCP). The Court held that:
- decisions under the SCP were amenable to judicial review;
- where reasons for the policy’s use in a particular case cannot be disclosed as a result of public interest immunity, then the threshold for judicial interference in the decision is very high;
- the test is whether there is clear evidence of dishonesty, bias or caprice.
Central to the decision that the court should not intervene in this case was the finding at a separate hearing, by a different judge, that the reasons for the decisions under the SCP were subject to Public Interest Immunity (PII) and could not be disclosed.