Hertfordshire police snoopers ‘broke data protection laws’
PUBLISHED: 06:00 20 February 2014
Police officers and staff broke data protection laws by carrying out unauthorised background checks.
Figures released under Freedom of Information laws showed 13 Hertfordshire Constabulary personnel flouted regulations to check up on people.
The figures were passed to the Press Association, which submitted the request for information, and have been seen by the Welwyn Hatfield Times.
They detail the rank, nature, and outcomes of the illicit use of the force database between January 1 2009 and October 31 last year.
The highest-ranking snoopers were sergeants, one of them a detective sergeant, who passed information from police files to third parties in 2010 and 2011.
Also in 2011 a member of civilian staff, a detective constable and a Pcso also passed on details, which under the terms of the information request could relate to “passing on confidential details relating to a victim”.
Other transgressions included a special constable who disseminated details to a third party in 2010 and as a result resigned from the force.
Warnings were issued to two staff members for the same offence in 2009 and 2012.
There were two cases where constables accessed records for “personal use”, which could refer to checking up on a prospective partner.
A police spokeswoman told the Welwyn Hatfield Times: “Hertfordshire Constabulary takes its responsibilities under the Data Protection Act very seriously.
“Protective monitoring software is used that can proactively identify people who are misusing our systems.
“People misusing the systems can face criminal charges and dismissal.”
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