Catt, an 87 year old grandfather with no criminal record, discovered his movements and presence at protests, in particularly at Smash EDO demos in Brighton, were recorded on the NPOIU database after he made a data protection request on the unit. John is also an artist, and is often seen at these protests sketching and recording the scenes that he sees.
Last week, the HMIC investigation into the functioning of the NPOIU found their intelligence recording practices were flawed, citing that "the rationale for recording and retaining the intelligence was not strong enough". However, HMIC have failed, so far, to investigate this breach further, and have simply stated they will revisit the problem separately.
Emily Apple from Fitwatch stated:
"This is an important case testing the fundamental right for people to attend a protest without having information about them recorded by the state. Unfortunately, we have seen time and time again institutions such as HMIC and the IPCC fail to properly investigate serious issues regarding the policing of protests, and it is down to individuals to take action to expose and rectify these seemingly unending intelligence gathering practices.