Old criminal records of minor offences aid in the fight against crime and must not be deleted, Greater Manchester Police has told the Court of Appeal.
The force, and four others, is fighting a ruling that holding them does not comply with the Data Protection Act.
Their lawyer David Jones said records are vital for police to evaluate risks and protect the public from crime.
This is why somebody who received an unconditional discharge in 1982, under Section 10 of the Public Order Act for example, still has to declare it under the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act because a CRB check might show it up.
What's even more disturbing is that many public order offences disappear from your record after 10 years under NACPO guidelines. Yes the police themselves decide that. But the example above was on a political demonstration, so somewere the decision was made to keep that on the record even 27 years later, despite NACPO guidelines.
Have we really reached the stage where security depends upon keeping minor blemishes on peoples' records for decades? If so I suggest that the state and the police are both damaged beyond repair and need abolishing.
PS: Section 10 of the Public Order Act is a catch all. It means roughly: "Threatening or abusive language or behaviour that could lead to a breach of the peace".