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Data Protection – Corrupt Police Officer Pays for Betraying Public Trust

A vast amount of personal data necessarily comes into the hands of public officials and that can sadly prove a temptation to the dishonest. In one case, a corrupt police officer made over £360,000 by abusing his position to access the details of people involved in road accidents, before selling them to claims handling firms.car accident

Entirely motivated by greed, the officer extracted personal data from confidential police accident logs on 21,802 occasions over a seven-year period. He established companies through which he sold the information to firms that used it to cold call those who had been involved in accidents, offering to handle their compensation claims.

After numerous people complained that their personal details had been disclosed without their authority, the officer was arrested and admitted misconduct in public office and conspiracy offences. He was jailed for five years.

In ruling on his challenge to that sentence, the Court of Appeal noted that he was guilty of very serious, prolonged and sophisticated wrongdoing when in a position of public trust. The Court nevertheless concluded that the starting point taken when calculating his sentence was too high and reduced his jail term to four years.

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