UK-ECHR: Calls for extremism database to be abolished as ECtHR rules UK police violated peaceful pensioner's privacy rights


There have been calls for the database on "domestic extremists" hosted by the Metropolitan Police to be abolished following the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) ruling last week that the police's failure to delete data held on John Catt, a peaceful protester who is now 94 years old, violated his right to privacy.

Support our work: become a Friend of Statewatch from as little as £1/€1 per month.

According to Brighton newspaper The Argus, John Catt's daughter Linda "has demanded an apology as well as confirmation her father’s details would be completely removed from the database," and has "called on the Home Office to look at disbanding the database altogether."

The paper also quotes Catt's lawyer Shamik Dutta, who "called on the Government to 'urgently revisit' its definition of domestic extremism and police practices and to remove his details from the database alongside others who are thought to have been added to it unnecessarily, like journalists."

The case began in 2010 when John Catt requested the deletion of records on his presence at demonstrations held in the domestic extremism database.

After various UK courts found for and against Mr Catt, the case ended up before the European Court of Human Rights.

In its judgment last week, the Grand Chamber found that:

"the continued retention of the data in Mr Catt’s case had been disproportionate because it was personal data which revealed political opinions and so had enhanced protection; it had been accepted that Mr Catt did not pose a threat to anyone, also taking into account his age; and there had been a lack of effective procedural safeguards."


Further reading

Our work is only possible with your support.
Become a Friend of Statewatch from as little as £1/€1 per month.


Spotted an error? If you've spotted a problem with this page, just click once to let us know.

Report error