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PC resigns over Norfolk Police data breach
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PC resigns over Norfolk Police data breach

Former PC Sarah Corner has resigned a week before a hearing over the Norfolk Police data breach she was embroiled in.

The 24-year-old was due to face a gross misconduct hearing last month following allegations of a serious data breach. Ms Corner was investigated for illegally obtaining information from a police computer. This is a monumental breach of data protection.

Although she resigned prior to the hearing, she would have been dismissed in any event. With the wealth of data that police hold, any police data breach can be a serious one.

Sarah Corner resigns over Norfolk Police data breach

Former PC Sarah Corner resigned the week before the hearing was due to take place over the serious Norfolk Police data breach.

The Chief Constable at Norfolk police later confirmed that she would have been dismissed in any event.

She had been accused of illegally obtaining information from a police computer. This amounts to a serious data protection breach, and she was fined £1,000.00 for her actions.

In a statement, the Chief Constable said:

“The public have the right to expect that police officers do not misuse police computer systems and that information held should be treated in strictest confidence. Accessing confidential police information without a legitimate police purpose is a serious abuse of an officer’s position and undermines public confidence.”

Is the Norfolk Police data breach a worrying sign of the times?

The Norfolk Police data breach could be a worrying sign of the times. With so much ability to access private and sensitive information, we’re all at risk.

At the same time, quick and easy access to such data can be essential. In the case of the police and hospitals, we have constables and nurses who can access incredibly private and sensitive data easily. We expect that they won’t abuse their right to access it, but the ICO has had to investigate and charge a number of NHS staff for medical record snooping.

Will we also see officers illegally access police data records as well? We hope not, but the risk is there, and it may leave victims with no alternative but to claim for data breach compensation.

The Norfolk Police data breach could be one of many of its kind, and it could be hard to tell when such a breach has happened. Although access to data can be essential for the emergency services, monitoring of access is key. We must ensure that no one in a position of trust is able to abuse their powers and get away with it.

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