The Metropolitan Police has been misusing the force’s computers including some who were passing information to criminals.
More than 300 cops and staff have been caught with some leaking intelligence to a gangster linked to firearms, passing on information about drugs, and obtaining computer data ‘to assist in criminality’.
One copper made ‘inappropriate sexual comments about children’ on a website, searched for pornography on Met networks, or signed up to a sex website on their office PC.
Former Tory leadership contender David Davis said: “The extent to which police officers have used confidential police information for criminal ends, and abused individuals’ private information for their personal benefit, is astonishing.”
We should say – as an aside – it is a law of the internet that the amount that a person genuinely believes what they are saying is inversely proportional to their use of the word “astonishing.”
According to Metro more than 300 breaches of the Data Protection Act happened between January 2009 and October last year.
Of the 300 cases, 208 led to formal action being taken – including criminal prosecutions or disciplinary action. The number of them that led to prosecutions is unknown.
The remaining 92 cases resulted in stuff like retirement or resignation, written warnings, management action and, in two cases, nothing.
Around one in five of the total led to the sacking or retirement of an officer.
What is a little scary were cases where violent or sexual offenders used an officer to provide ‘data to assist in criminality’.
Another officer provided information ‘of a significant level to a prominent criminal with links to firearms’. Apparently the Met took action against a detective chief inspector who committed ‘offences contrary to the Prevention of Corruption Act’, it said. In another case, a candidate for a police driving exam was sent the answers by a colleague.