Police apologise over gay files

A police computer system that allowed officers to record whether an arrested person was gay or lesbian has been scrapped more than two years after the force's chief constable denied that it existed. Manchester's Operational Information System, in which the personal details of suspects were recorded for police intelligence use, included a category for sexual orientation. Greater Manchester Police yesterday apologised for what was described as an error and insisted they had not been aware of the gay category, which was removed from the computer this week.

Meanwhile, the gay pressure group Outrage! has written to 20 MPs, including two Cabinet ministers, whom it believes are lesbian, gay or bisexual urging them to "come out".