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To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department pursuant to the answer to the hon. Member for Epping Forest of 1 June 2009, Official Report, column 174W, on personal records: data protection, for how long automatic number plate recognition (ANPR) data are retained; and under what circumstances ANPR data are deleted from the National ANPR Data Centre.
ACPO (Association of Chief Police Officers) guidance states that ANPR data may be retained for an initial 90 days after collection for viewing by authorised persons for post-crime interrogation and investigation. Data more than 90 days old may then be retained for up to two years if the operational need remains. However these data are partitioned from general viewing. Access is only permitted for major and serious investigations and requires authorisation in each case by a senior officer. This is in line with responsibilities under the Data Protection Act (1984 and 1998).
The National ANPR Data Centre is currently under development and test. Once in live operational use, ANPR data will be deleted as required by police forces in discharging their responsibilities under the Act. Data not required to be retained for operational purposes will be deleted automatically after a prescribed period, and this period will be determined through agreement between the Association of Chief Police Officers, the National Policing Improvement Agency and the Information Commissioner's Office.