In recent years it has become apparent that the police have been recording vast amounts of data on people attending all forms of protest.
This information is recorded by police units such as forward intelligence teams (FIT), intelligence gathering teams (EGT), and the notorious police liaison officers (PLO). It is processed, then stored in databases including the Police National Database (PND) and the National Special Branch Intelligence System (NSBIS) and a most likely in a recently created facial recognition database.
NSBIS is also known as the “Domestic Extremism database”. Until very recently the police denied it existed.
The recorded data is used to look for patterns and connections, so that the police can build an overall picture of who is attending a protest and how they might act. In a way, it contains “meta-data” associated with individuals at demonstrations.
There is reason to believe that data gathered in secret, with no checks and balances and no effective accountability, is not only unnecessary and intrusive but also riddled with gossip and rumour.
You might want to find out what information the police hold on you in order to challenge it’s accuracy, to assist with a compensation claim, if you’re concerned about surveillance, or as part of a campaign.