Lancashire police are under investigation for illegally recording in a private dwelling without the permission or knowledge of the home owner.
on the 10th March, 2017, (the day after an arson attack), Mr Ponting had evidence to provide to police to support the investigation into this attack.
After repeated calls to police to tell them they had crucial evidence, police simply failed to acknowledge or respond. This made the family angry.
Police have confirmed they screwed up, they call it a ‘crossed communications’ issues.
Nevertheless, police attended the home after 11pm on the 10th March to collect evidence reported by the family from the attack the day before.
Two female officers knocked at the door, Mrs Ponting answered. The officers are PC 580 Malone and PC 3474 Cooper.
PC 580 Malone was the subject of an UPHELD complaint from Mr Ponting for an aggressive and threatening phone call she made to him about 4 years earlier. She was not welcome at the home. The family were unaware this was PC Malone until after this incident!
Mrs Ponting invited the officers in to collect the evidence. No camera was visible to Mrs Ponting, if it was she would have asked them to stop recording and would not have invited them in.
The officers were at this point breaking the law under the Data protection Act.
Lancashire Constabulary policy on BWV and the Data protection act states:
“It is a legal requirement under the DPA to provide ‘fair processing information’. Therefore the BWV user should, where practicable, make a general verbal announcement that recording is taking place; this is particularly relevant when in a private dwelling”
There was every opportunity to make this announcement. There is no excuse for not making the legally required announcement.
Once the officers had been led through the private dwelling into the rear of the house where Mr Ponting was, Mr Ponting greeted the officers and noticed the officer standing discreetly behind the 1st officer had a BWV recording. Mr Ponting asked her to switch it off, she refused stating she had been instructed to record the visit in full by Sergeant Lloyd (already the subject of a complaint for lying).
Mr Ponting then tried to cover the illegally recording device with his hand but was warned by the officer not to approach her. So, in his own home, police officers had entered while illegally recording and when identified and told to switch it off, refused. Then gave an implied threat to Mr Ponting when he tried to block the recording.
Police were instructed to leave the house, they again illegally recorded while walking back trough this private dwelling.
Police have attempted to justify the action of recording by the reaction of Mr Ponting when he discovered the recording. The reaction was because they illegally recorded, how can that be the justification for the recording.
Police did not uphold this complaint even though they admitted to breaking the law! An appeal has been sent to the IPCC and the ICO are aware of the data breach!