7th November 2019

Police officers have access to huge amounts of information. Such access inevitably opens up the possibility of information being misused. A temptation may arise for an officer to access information inappropriately for personal reasons. We have had cases in which officers have accessed information on individuals with whom they, or their family or friends are in dispute. Such actions would amount to misconduct. Claims for compensation can also be pursued against the police for data breaches.

Northumbria Police have reported disciplinary proceedings being brought against officers for breaching confidentiality. Following a disciplinary hearing on 15 July 2019 an officer received the sanction of management advice after viewing recorded details of a complaint the officer made off-duty about a neighbour.

At a disciplinary hearing on 15 August 2019 a member of Northumbria Police staff was alleged to have breached confidentiality by inappropriately accessing incident logs and intelligence pages outside of their police role. Again, by way of sanction, the member of police staff concerned received management action.

If you have been the victim of a data breach contact our specialist solicitors Richard Hardy, Andrew Freckleton and Katy Stephenson on 0191 565 3112 or email advice@benhoarebell.co.uk. We can offer appointments at any of our offices in Sunderland, Newcastle, Middlesbrough and Gateshead.