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Criminal Records Bureau

Volume 479: debated on Monday 1 September 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) on how many occasions the Criminal Records Bureau disclosed the personal history of one individual to another individual as a result of mistaken identity in each year since its inception; and how many complaints the Bureau has received as a result of such errors; (220700)

(2) how many applicants for Criminal Records Bureau checks were asked to supply fingerprint evidence to resolve cases of mistaken identity in each year since its inception; and what percentage of all checks this represented.

All the quality control procedures at the Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) are geared to achieving the highest levels of accuracy. In addition, the CRB carries out a post disclosure accuracy check that analyses all aspects of the disclosure application and its issue. This check was introduced in 2007 and is based on a statistical sample of disclosure applications and from that sample it can be ascertained that the accuracy rate for 2006-07 is 99.94 per cent. and for 2007-08 is 99.98 per cent.

Over the past 12 months the CRB have issued 3,457,424 disclosures and have used applicants’ fingerprints 358 times to distinguish them from records held on the police national computer (PNC) to which they had originally been matched. Of these, 115 applicants were found to have been correctly matched to the record held on PNC. The number found to be incorrectly matched to a record on PNC following fingerprints represents 0.007 per cent. of disclosures issued during the past 12 months.

No comparative data are available on either of these issues prior to the dates referred to.