A sickening Staffordshire police data breach has led to an officer being sacked and being handed a 12-month prison sentence.
With the police handling very sensitive and personal information, we expect the best from them. Unfortunately, they do fall short on some occasions. The police have been embroiled in a number of data breach incidents for several years. A concerning element is where officers are using police data when they’re not supposed to.
This hearings in the Staffordshire police data breach at the centre of this article resulted in the instant dismissal for the officer involved.
Serious Staffordshire police data breach
A serious Staffordshire police data breach incident took place last year. PC Andrew Parry attended a fatal motorbike incident on the A523 near Leek in April 2017.
Footage from the scene was recorded on his bodycam. PC Parry then went beyond his role and transferred captured footage form the bodycam to his mobile phone. He proceeded to show the illegally transferred data to colleagues, who addressed the incident with superiors.
Needless to say, PC Parry was immediately suspended pending an investigation. At hearings last month, he was dismissed without notice for gross misconduct. He has also been handed a 12-month sentence, suspended for two years.
A deliberate police data breach
This particular Staffordshire police data breach incident was a blatant and deliberate act. The officer ought to have known better. The victim was pronounced dead at the scene of the incident, and the data breach has no doubt added further unnecessary grief to an already painful loss.
After the hearings, Deputy Chief Constable Nick Baker said:
“This sort of disrespectful and illegal behaviour is not tolerated at Staffordshire Police and officers worked swiftly to investigate this matter thoroughly.
“Officers are reminded regularly of their responsibilities to the victim and their family and the misuse of computers laws they agree to uphold.
“It is always disappointing that one officer chooses to act in a way that damages the reputation of all our honest and hard-working officers across the county.”
What can a victim in a police data breach do?
Contrary to what some may believe, the police are not above the law. In an incident like the Staffordshire police data breach, people are still entitled to justice.
As a firm of specialist data leak lawyers, we often represent victims of public sector data breaches. They are unfortunately common, and more needs to be done to prevent them given the wealth of data such organisations hold.
A police data breach is no different, and victims can be entitled to claim compensation all the same.
IMPORTANT: advice on this page is intended to be up-to-date for the 'first published date'.
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First published by Matthew on December 04, 2018
Posted in the following categories: Employee Data Breach ICO Latest Police and tagged with data controllers | data leak | employee breaches | police data breach