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Negligent CRB checks

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[Thanks to James Medhurst of Employment Law Advocates for preparing this case summary]

The Court of Appeal has handed down its decision in Desmond v Nottinghamshire Police, which is authority for the proposition that a person cannot bring a claim in negligence against the police in respect of information provided to an employer during an enhanced Criminal Records Bureau check.

It was held that that, in accordance with the general principles in the case of Hill v Chief Constable of West Yorkshire, the police do not owe a duty of care to members of the public in this situation. Nor does the structure of the statute suggest that there should be a duty of care, as this would create a conflict with the statutory purpose of protecting vulnerable young people.

A further consideration was the availability of other remedies including judicial review, a claim for breach of Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights and a possible claim under the Data Protection Act.