93 police staff abused data access in last five years

This Is Lancashire: Police and crime commissioner Tony Lloyd Police and crime commissioner Tony Lloyd

NINETY three police staff in Greater Manchester have abused data access since 2009, new figures reveal.

Eight were sacked following disciplinary proceedings and 10 resigned or retired before proceedings took place.

Offences ranged from stealing information to trying to change records about police incidents.
Bolton Council’s community safety representative, Cllr Derek Burrows, said the incidents undermined the public’s confidence in the police, while Greater Manchester Police (GMP) said offences are falling.

The figures, obtained by The Bolton News, show details of disciplinary hearings for Data Protection Act offences from the start of 2009 to the end of 2013.

The statistics do not show where in Greater Manchester the offences took place.
Cllr Burrows said: “Any breach of data protection laws is a serious matter, and undermines public confidence in the police.

“I know GMP take all matters like these seriously, and I accept that one breach of data protection laws is one too many.

“We have to remember there are over 10,000 staff that work for GMP when we look at these figures.”

Last November, we reported how detective Daniel Withnell, aged 31, of Cranark Close, Heaton, was jailed for four years for using a police database to get information about a man called Robert Sandiford in an attempt to extort cash out of him.

In another incident exposed in the figures, a sergeant revealed the personal details of someone on the police computer system in October 2010. He was given advice about his conduct.

A member of staff was sacked in February 2009 for breaching the Act and for making a racist comment while another was sacked in February 2011 for accessing confidential data.

In July 2011, a PC was given a written warning after stealing a pen drive containing sensitive information and in September 2011, a PC and a PCSO were caught reading an incident report related to a personal matter. They undertook “management action”.

The files do not include the case of former police call handler Kathryn Smith, of Droylsden, who was sacked this year after revealing the name of a police informer to an associate of convicted murderer Dale Cregan in Tameside.

Ms Smith claimed there was a culture at GMP for staff to look at details of police incidents where they lived and that it was tolerated by supervisors.

The county’s police and crime commissioner Tony Lloyd said: “Although the number of breaches is relatively small, and most of the breaches are not what you would term serious, the public would expect any incident to be dealt with properly and robustly.”

Detective Chief Superintendent Paul Rumney, head of GMP’s professional standards branch, said the number of offences has fallen in the last year due to more prevention work.

He added: “The legal, financial and reputational risks of failing to look after personal information are clear and GMP has stringent security measures in place to protect people's information and make sure it is handled correctly.”

Comments (12)

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12:42pm Fri 27 Jun 14

The Squire In Residence says...

Shock, horror! The police aren't all whiter than white....
Shock, horror! The police aren't all whiter than white.... The Squire In Residence
  • Score: 10

12:48pm Fri 27 Jun 14

Rememberscarborough says...

Wonder how many people have "nicked" something from work e.g. stationery and just put it down as a perk of the job? Public servants like police, nurses etc are human like the rest of us and there's always going to be a small proportion of bad 'uns.

I suspect if the rest of us were held to these standards the unemployment figures would be nearer 5m than the current level....
Wonder how many people have "nicked" something from work e.g. stationery and just put it down as a perk of the job? Public servants like police, nurses etc are human like the rest of us and there's always going to be a small proportion of bad 'uns. I suspect if the rest of us were held to these standards the unemployment figures would be nearer 5m than the current level.... Rememberscarborough
  • Score: -6

2:04pm Fri 27 Jun 14

soup153 says...

Pen Drives in this day and age, what year is it again. No data should ever have to leave the server it's on in this day and age. Bad management, practice and who needs to transport data around today.
Pen Drives in this day and age, what year is it again. No data should ever have to leave the server it's on in this day and age. Bad management, practice and who needs to transport data around today. soup153
  • Score: 5

7:38pm Fri 27 Jun 14

Smeagol says...

Rememberscarborough wrote:
Wonder how many people have "nicked" something from work e.g. stationery and just put it down as a perk of the job? Public servants like police, nurses etc are human like the rest of us and there's always going to be a small proportion of bad 'uns.

I suspect if the rest of us were held to these standards the unemployment figures would be nearer 5m than the current level....
Nicking a pen from work isn't even in the same league as accessing confidential information, and potentially distributing it.
[quote][p][bold]Rememberscarborough[/bold] wrote: Wonder how many people have "nicked" something from work e.g. stationery and just put it down as a perk of the job? Public servants like police, nurses etc are human like the rest of us and there's always going to be a small proportion of bad 'uns. I suspect if the rest of us were held to these standards the unemployment figures would be nearer 5m than the current level....[/p][/quote]Nicking a pen from work isn't even in the same league as accessing confidential information, and potentially distributing it. Smeagol
  • Score: 11

8:02pm Fri 27 Jun 14

JustBecause says...

Rememberscarborough wrote:
Wonder how many people have "nicked" something from work e.g. stationery and just put it down as a perk of the job? Public servants like police, nurses etc are human like the rest of us and there's always going to be a small proportion of bad 'uns.

I suspect if the rest of us were held to these standards the unemployment figures would be nearer 5m than the current level....
Stealing stuff is never a "perk of the job" theft is theft. As an employer if I caught any of my staff taking something, the sack is the least of their problems.

How a police office who is caught "stealing" anything, let alone sensitive information, is let off with a warning is beyond me.
[quote][p][bold]Rememberscarborough[/bold] wrote: Wonder how many people have "nicked" something from work e.g. stationery and just put it down as a perk of the job? Public servants like police, nurses etc are human like the rest of us and there's always going to be a small proportion of bad 'uns. I suspect if the rest of us were held to these standards the unemployment figures would be nearer 5m than the current level....[/p][/quote]Stealing stuff is never a "perk of the job" theft is theft. As an employer if I caught any of my staff taking something, the sack is the least of their problems. How a police office who is caught "stealing" anything, let alone sensitive information, is let off with a warning is beyond me. JustBecause
  • Score: 6

8:03pm Fri 27 Jun 14

SleepingThunder says...

Organised crime wears a uniform Shock!
Don't let the bad apples seed it will turn the lot rotten
Organised crime wears a uniform Shock! Don't let the bad apples seed it will turn the lot rotten SleepingThunder
  • Score: 5

7:59am Sat 28 Jun 14

Comment777 says...

Rememberscarborough wrote:
Wonder how many people have "nicked" something from work e.g. stationery and just put it down as a perk of the job? Public servants like police, nurses etc are human like the rest of us and there's always going to be a small proportion of bad 'uns.

I suspect if the rest of us were held to these standards the unemployment figures would be nearer 5m than the current level....
Are you an Ostrich?
[quote][p][bold]Rememberscarborough[/bold] wrote: Wonder how many people have "nicked" something from work e.g. stationery and just put it down as a perk of the job? Public servants like police, nurses etc are human like the rest of us and there's always going to be a small proportion of bad 'uns. I suspect if the rest of us were held to these standards the unemployment figures would be nearer 5m than the current level....[/p][/quote]Are you an Ostrich? Comment777
  • Score: 1

8:01am Sat 28 Jun 14

Comment777 says...

SleepingThunder wrote:
Organised crime wears a uniform Shock!
Don't let the bad apples seed it will turn the lot rotten
The whole police barrel is filled with bad apples some are poisonous and may do you serious harm...
[quote][p][bold]SleepingThunder[/bold] wrote: Organised crime wears a uniform Shock! Don't let the bad apples seed it will turn the lot rotten[/p][/quote]The whole police barrel is filled with bad apples some are poisonous and may do you serious harm... Comment777
  • Score: -1

8:04am Sat 28 Jun 14

Comment777 says...

A piece of advice...if you see a police person walk or run in the opposite direction. A power hungry legalised, oppresive gang who will do anything to get a conviction for personal reasons ie promotion and not for the greater good of protecting and serving...
A piece of advice...if you see a police person walk or run in the opposite direction. A power hungry legalised, oppresive gang who will do anything to get a conviction for personal reasons ie promotion and not for the greater good of protecting and serving... Comment777
  • Score: -1

9:49am Sat 28 Jun 14

SleepingThunder says...

I don't think they are all bad but those that are have a erosive effect on them around them . It may just be a name a nod & a wink but these actions have a wider effect (has we have seen) on intelligence & operations.
I don't think they are all bad but those that are have a erosive effect on them around them . It may just be a name a nod & a wink but these actions have a wider effect (has we have seen) on intelligence & operations. SleepingThunder
  • Score: 0

10:31am Sat 28 Jun 14

Mick England says...

ACAB.
ACAB. Mick England
  • Score: 0

7:20pm Sat 28 Jun 14

Beyond News Forum says...

Comment777 wrote:
A piece of advice...if you see a police person walk or run in the opposite direction. A power hungry legalised, oppresive gang who will do anything to get a conviction for personal reasons ie promotion and not for the greater good of protecting and serving...
Well if you run then they get their suspicion cards out of their pockets. Best policy is face them and use common sense and be polite, give them NOTHING to make them assault you.

On topic... this is EXACTLY why there are thousands protesting about data being collected and data access by GCHQ and the NSA. They cannot be trusted and nor should they be trusted.

Plus if you or I walked into a police station and stole/downloaded information off their computers we would go to jail. Why are these officers not in jail? Can one of the officers let us all know which loophole they exploited to get away with this theft?
[quote][p][bold]Comment777[/bold] wrote: A piece of advice...if you see a police person walk or run in the opposite direction. A power hungry legalised, oppresive gang who will do anything to get a conviction for personal reasons ie promotion and not for the greater good of protecting and serving...[/p][/quote]Well if you run then they get their suspicion cards out of their pockets. Best policy is face them and use common sense and be polite, give them NOTHING to make them assault you. On topic... this is EXACTLY why there are thousands protesting about data being collected and data access by GCHQ and the NSA. They cannot be trusted and nor should they be trusted. Plus if you or I walked into a police station and stole/downloaded information off their computers we would go to jail. Why are these officers not in jail? Can one of the officers let us all know which loophole they exploited to get away with this theft? Beyond News Forum
  • Score: 1
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