Sunday, August 28, 2011

UK Police Caught Abusing Access to Criminal Records on Police National Computer (PNC)

The number of UK police caught abusing their access to the Police National Computer databases now exceeds 200, according to a Freedom of Information request cited by The Telegraph.

In just the last 3 years, 84 police officers and 22 support staff in the Metropolitan Police Service have been disciplined for misusing government databases that contain sensitive information on millions of people and their property.
"Half of the offences uncovered, including some accused of passing information to criminals, took place in the last three years - suggesting the abuse of the system is on the increase." - Jason Lewis, Investigations Editor for The Telegraph.
Over the past 10 years, 142 police officers and 66 staff in the Metropolitan Police have been disciplined, resulting in 29 firings and 16 prosecutions. When the entire UK is taken into account, a total of 400 police officers and staff had been disciplined for similar abuse across the entire UK.
"A survey of senior police officers found most believed abuse of police systems occurred 'frequently' and called for greater audit and controls on police computer resources." - Jason Lewis, Investigations Editor for The Telegraph.
Police National Computer Databases
  • Names File - People who have been convicted, cautioned or recently arrested
  • Vehicle File - Registered keeper of a motor vehicle
  • Property File - Certain types of stolen and found property including Trailers, Plant, Engines, Animals, Marine and Firearms
  • Drivers File - 48 million people who either hold a driving licence or are disqualified from holding one
Learn about a privacy breach detection service that proactively identifies unauthorized breaches of data privacy, even by authorized users - with no hardware and no on-site software.
Sources:
(a) Hundreds of police officers caught illegally accessing criminal records computer - The Telegraph, August 20, 2011
(b) Police National Computer - Wikipedia as of August 28, 2011


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