UK: Police officers and staff broke data laws 67 times in three years

Often, the only way we find out the scope of a problem is when the media or activists file a freedom of information request. Some data revealed thanks to a Freedom of Information request made by the Scunthorpe Telegraph:

Humberside Police officers and staff breached data protection laws 67 times in the past three years, the force has revealed.

A total of five officers and staff were dismissed, one had their contract terminated and another resigned prior to their hearing.

Breaches include officers accessing police computer systems to obtain information about potential partners, disclosing internal information to members of the public and accessing family members’ details.


By comparison, Lincolnshire Police had nine data protection breaches in the past three years.

There were no data protection breaches at North Lincolnshire Council, Lincolnshire County Council and East Riding of Yorkshire Council.

Hull City Council recorded two data protection breaches and North East Lincolnshire Council recorded eight. There was just one data protection breach at the region’s NHS hospitals trust in the past three years.

A staff member at Grimsby’s Diana, Princess of Wales Hospital obtained a patient’s address without consent.

As well as having the most data protection breaches, Humberside Police recorded year-on-year increases from 14 breaches in 2008-09 to 21 in 2009-10 and to 32 in 2010-11.

Read more on This is Scunthorpe.

I wonder how many of these breaches were reported to the Information Commissioner’s Office.  Did/does the ICO know that breaches are increasing yearly in the police department named?  If so, what proactive steps are being taken?

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