Gay couple angry with Cambs Cops over “Big Sister” checks

A GAY couple are angry that Cambridgeshire Police only reprimanded one of the men’s sisters – a former PCSO and now a PC- after she used a force computer to access their records.

The Independent Police Complaints Commission accepted the PC “clearly broke procedures” but stopped short of recommending her dismissal.

The dispute erupted when PC Kathryn Chapman alleged that her adopted brother Paul Murray, 43, and his partner Liam Palmer, 26, had stolen money from their father to pay for a jet ski. The couple claim police had already cleared them of this.

PC Chapman, however, searched on three separate occasions for Mr Murray and Liam Palmer on police computers.

An inquiry confirmed that PC Chapman had indeed carried out searches on April 17, April 28 and again on December 4 last year.


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PC Chapman, of Peterborough, was given “management words of advice” for accessing details not for policing purpose. The couple say this was too lenient.

“The whole thing has been real hell,” said Mr Murray.

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“She’s broken the law and as far as we are concerned it was just a slap on the wrist and it’s a case of the police covering up for one of their own.

Liam Palmer said: “It’s not just the case of our details she has looked at, who knows how many other people she’s hacked into.”

Mumta Patel, IPCC casework manager, said PC Chapman “clearly broke procedure and still went ahead to check on the database, even though the investigation had been dropped a good while ago.

“The fact that she searched the systems again suggests that PC Chapman was trying to glean information in the two individuals.”

PC Chapman told senior police officers it was her personal view and personal knowledge of both Paul and Liam that led her to believe that they were up to no good.

A police spokesman said: “We take all reports of data protection breaches very seriously. However, there is no evidence to suggest the information was disclosed to a third party and the breaches were at the lower end of the scale. The officer involved was given words of advice regarding her future conduct.”

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