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Taking advantage of the police database for personal use can amount to an extreme breach of privacy and an abuse of power by the individual accessing the information.
Accessing the police database for personal use means that the person who is accessing personal and sensitive data does not have the authority or right to do so, and it may not relate to any past or active cases of the individual.
In many cases, the data breach victim is known to the employee and it is a case of data snooping. Data breaches of this nature can be severe and may involve someone the police officer has a negative relationship with, meaning the risks can be significant. Under no circumstances should staff abuse the police database for personal use. If they do, and you have been a victim of a data breach of this nature, you could be eligible to make a data breach compensation claim with the Data Leak Lawyers today.
The police database should only be used by authorised persons for searches relevant to their cases and work. It should never be abused to find information about people they know personally or for searches that have nothing to do with any of their work.
Data protection laws in the UK are designed to protect us from this kind of behaviour, and no one is above the law; the police included. Victims of a data breach like this have rights and they can be eligible to pursue a legal case for damages.
PC Anthony Martin of Hertfordshire police was reportedly dismissed on 30th October 2020 for gross misconduct after it was revealed that he had abused a police database for personal use.
He was accused of using the police database without proper reasoning, according to The Comet. He reportedly used the police database to search for a name to find a home address and a photograph, and he then sent messages to the victim via WhatsApp.
A panel overseeing misconduct matters found that this was, “not in the proper course of his police duties and this amounts to a breach of the Standard of Professional Behaviour relating to confidentiality”, and they identified his actions as “deliberate, planned and targeted”, and “entirely for his personal benefit and gain”.
This is a completely unacceptable abuse of the police database for personal use and the data breach should be taken seriously.
The Hertfordshire police made a statement about the abuse of the police database for personal use as follows:
“Exercising police powers comes with great responsibility and accountability and while the majority of officers and staff are hugely responsible, there are still those who disregard the rules and abuse their authority. Consistent training and guidance is given about appropriate use of police systems and no officer or member of staff can claim that they are not aware of the requirements around their use.”
If you have been the victim of a data breach stemming from a police officer abusing the database for their own ends, you could be eligible to make a claim.
We are experts in the field of data breach law and will do our very best to bring you the justice you deserve. We have helped thousands of victims recover millions in damages across our various actions and cases, and we can help you next.
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