Reports shows four Cambridgeshire police staff were sacked for data breaches in the last five years

Report reveals data breaches by Cambridgeshire police officers and staff

Report reveals data breaches by Cambridgeshire police officers and staff - Credit: Archant

The report from Big Brother Watch revealed 30 data breaches by the county’s officers and staff between June 2011 and December 2015.

The study ‘Safe in Police Hands?’ showed that five year period at least 2,315 data breaches were conducted by police officers and staff nationally.

More than 800 employees accessed personal information for non policing purpose, whilst data was shared inappropriately or without authorisation almost 900 times.

In Cambridgeshire, three staff used the force IT systems for a non-policing purpose and were sacked. One staff member was sacked after being found to have disclosed police information without cause or authority.

Three police officers and 11 staff were investigated for use of force IT systems for non-policing purposes and received written warnings.


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Another staff member was given a first written warning and two officers retired or resigned whilst under criminal investigation for potential breaches of Data Protection or breaches of internal procedures relating to data use and 16 staff were also investigated.

Renate Samson, chief executive of Big Brother Watch, said: “The revelation that the police are still committing 10 data breaches a week shows that work still needs to be done before we can be sure our personal information is safe in their hands.

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“The Government are about to give law enforcement access to the details of all the websites each and every one of us look at. In light of our findings questions must be asked about whether more access will make for better policing, or only increase the opportunities for misuse.”

A police spokesman said: “The force has strict rules in place, under the Code of Ethics, to ensure all information held is treated with respect and that officers only access or disclose it in the proper course of police duties.

“Any breach of the Code of Ethics in relation to confidentiality will be reported to and investigated by the Professional Standards Department.”

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