In April of this year, I did a White Rose posting, linking to this BBC report about people who are wrongly accused by the Criminal Records Bureau of being criminals. Because I wrote the piece, I today received email notification of this comment on it, that has just been added by David Wilson. This comment deserves wider circulation than just to sit in the White Rose archives. The message is, if you have a quite common name, like David Wilson, look out.
Just found your page and I have experienced this mistaken identity by the National Identification Service (NIS) and been wrongly identified with a convicted criminal with a similar name and date of birth – but absolutely no other similarities.
I am trying to emigrate and was shocked when the report from the NIS came about a man who was convicted of fraud, serious assault and most distressing sexual assault!
I found all doors for complaint closed to me. I called the NIS and was told by an ignorant person on the phone ‘that’s your problem and it’s up to you to prove otherwise’. The Police where equally difficult to deal with. No lawyer would touch it.
I then took it to my MP Mr James Wray, who wrote to Blunkett, who passed it to the Minister Bob Ainsworth, who then wrote to my MP, assuring him that it wouldn’t happen again. I then received a corrected document which stated I had no offences, and an apology for the error.
That wasn’t the end of it though. On July 25th of this year I was stopped in a US Airport (after trying to collect an eticket from BA check-in, who instead of giving me a ticket held on to my passport and alerted and armed security guard) and prevented from boarding my flight to Gatwick for over an hour. A manager finally came and told me it was an issue between myself and my government, and let me board the plane.
On arriving back in the UK I wrote to the NIS asking for justification of why my name is still being linked to this other person, and recorded proof of posting of my letter – Royal Mail tell me it was received on 30th July 2004. I never received any response. It was quite simply ignored. Today I believe there has been no change despite the intervention of Mr. Ainsworth.
Once again I find myself needing to get a copy of this sheet and just today had a letter sent to me asking me several questions which relate to the other man. I have been told by someone in the legal profession that it is a ‘violation of my rights to privacy by government’ and that I could in fact have a legal case.
Any advice would be appreciated. Right now I would just like to be at my liberty and enjoy my freedom to travel in the world without harassment or any violation of my civil liberties.
I am an honest person who has never been charged with any offence. The PNC and the actions of the NIS is an absolute disgrace – it would seem that a civil servant in London has more power than any Judge or Jury in the nation and has the ability to put one person’s criminal past on another. There is I have found no way to completely clear your name.