EC challenge to false police data

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The Independent Online
THREE brothers wrongly branded as football hooligans on a police intelligence computer are appealing to the European Commission to have their records cleansed after the listing twice led to their detention in Belgium.

One of the brothers, Rhys Boore, a Birmingham accountant, was held in police cells for 16 hours, searched, photographed and denied access to lawyers before being handcuffed and deported back to the England.

The three now fear arrest every time they travel abroad in support of their national team, Wales, as police forces pass on the false information. Their case has been taken to the European Commission - the first stage of the European legal process - by Liberty, the civil rights group, after appeals to the Home and Foreign offices, the Data Protection Registrar and British and Belgian police have failed to amend the records.

The Commission is being asked to obtain undertakings from the UK and Belgian governments that the police records will be corrected. The blacklisting occurred in 1990 following an assault on a Belgian train on which Alun, 22, Gwilym, 28, and Rhys, 25, were travelling to a Wales-Luxembourg match. Although the incident took place several carriages away from theirs, they were searched and had their passports examined at the Belgium-Luxembourg border.

The UK police were wrongly informed the three had been involved in disorderly behaviour and their names were logged on the National Criminal Intelligence Service's list of 6,000 alleged football hooligans.

Two years later on another trip to Belgium the brothers were twice detained and Rhys subsequently deported. Yesterday he said: 'Being wrongly labelled a football hooligan which lays you open to arbitrary arrest is a baffling and frightening experience.'

A spokeswoman at NCIS said the service complied with data protection leglislation and would await the Commission's decision.

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