Data Protection Breaches (91_16)

Request

I am writing under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 to request information about breaches of the Data Protection Act 1998 in your police force, specifically I am requesting:

1. The number of a) Police officers and b) civilian employees that have been convicted for breaches of Data Protection Act 1998.
2. The number of a) Police officers and b) civilian employees that have had their employment terminated for breaches of the Data Protection Act 1998.
3. The number of a) Police officers and b) civilian employees that have been disciplined internally for breaches of the Data Protection Act 1998.
4. The number of a) Police officers and b) civilian employees that have resigned during disciplinary procedures.
5. The number of instances where a breach has not led to any disciplinary action.
In each case, I request that you provide a list of the offences committed by the individual(s) in question, for example “Accessed personal information for personal interest” or “Inappropriately shared victim information with a third party”.

Response

As explained in our previous email, the data is not recorded in the format you have requested. Instead of being recorded by breach of a specific Act, it is recorded by breach type or type description. In this case, the search we can perform which will retrieve information most likely to satisfy your request is where the allegations are recorded as ‘breach of confidentiality’ or ‘Improper disclosure of information’. Allegations from within the Force are recorded as ‘breach of confidentiality’ whereas allegations from members of the public are recorded as ‘Improper disclosure of information’.

The database has retrieved allegations recorded under the categories explained above. One case can have a number of recorded allegations against one staff member or allegations against a number of different staff. This is why the cases have been numbered.

Every effort is made to ensure that the figures presented are accurate and complete. However, it is important to note that these data have been extracted from a number of data sources used by forces for police purposes. The detail collected to respond specifically to your request is subject to the inaccuracies inherent in any large scale recording system. As a consequence, care should be taken to ensure data collection processes and their inevitable limitations are taken into account when interpreting those data.

The figures provided therefore are our best interpretation of relevance of data to your request, but you should be aware that the collation of figures for ad hoc requests may have limitations and this should be taken into account when those data are used.
If you decide to write an article / use the enclosed data we would ask you to take into consideration the factors highlighted in this document so as to not mislead members of the public or official bodies, or misrepresent the relevance of the whole or any part of this disclosed material.

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