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Inappropriate Use of PNC/Force Systems (175A/22)


  1. How many (a) police officers and (b) police staff were disciplined in the last two calendar years (2020 and 2021) for improper/illegal or inappropriate use of the PNC/Force intelligence data systems?
  2. How many related to (i) vehicle data, (ii) personal data or (iii) other data breaches?
  3. Please provide for each incident a brief description, which should include

(i) the month of the incident

(ii) the nature of the offence or breach of force policy – a one sentence summary

(iii) if the person was an officer or a member or civilian staff

(iv) how the matter was resolved, i.e. written warning, sacked etc.


Our data are not organised in such a way as to allow us to provide all of this information within the appropriate (cost) limit under the Freedom of Information (FOI) Act. This is because the date/month of the incident is not recorded in a readily retrievable format. Therefore, in order to determine this, we would have to manually review each individual case file, which we estimate would take approximately 1 hour per case. To conduct this search however, would exceed the appropriate limit (FOIA, s.12).

This means that the cost of providing you with the information is above the amount to which we are legally required to respond i.e. the cost of locating and retrieving the information exceeds the ‘appropriate level’ as stated in the Freedom of Information (Fees and Appropriate Limit) Regulations 2004.

In accordance with the Freedom of Information Act 2000, this letter acts as a Refusal Notice for this part of the request and if one part of a request exceeds the fees limit then S12 of the Act applies to the whole request.

However, under Section 16 of the Act I have a duty to provide advice and assistance in relation to your request and can provide information for the remainder of your request, as this was retrieved during our initial research. Please see attached document.

This should not be taken as a precedent that additional information would be supplied outside of the time/fees legislation for any subsequent requests.

Further information on section 12 of FOI is available here:

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.