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NEGLIGENCE/ CHILD PROTECTION: Desmond v Chief Constable of Nottinghamshire Police [2011] EWCA Civ 3

Date:14 MAR 2011

(Court of Appeal; President of the QBD, Leveson and Toulson LJJ; 12 January 2011)

The teacher applied for an Enhanced Criminal Record Certificate (ECRC). The police included details of an assault even though the case had been closed on the basis that the teacher was not responsible for the crime. At issue was whether the police owed the teacher a duty of care when providing information to Criminal Record Bureau and whether any such duty was breached.

The Court of Appeal rejected that there was such a duty of care in ECRC cases. The imposition of a duty of care towards persons who apply for an ECRC would give rise to a potential conflict with the statutory purpose of protecting vulnerable young people. It is important that the police should not be inhibited by the possibility of proceedings for breach of a conflicting statutory duty of care owed to those who apply for a ECRC.