UK: Safe in Police hands? New Big Brother Watch report released

Big Brother Watch has released a new report on data protection in the UK police. Some of their key findings for the period June 1, 2011 – December 31, 2015 were that

  • there have been  2,315 breaches in police forces, including:
    • 869 (38%) instances of inappropriate/unauthorised access to information
    • 877 (38%) instances of inappropriate disclosure of data to third parties.
  • 25 cases involved misuse of the Police National Computer
  • 1283 (55%) cases resulted in no disciplinary or formal disciplinary action being taken.
  • 297 (13%) cases resulted in either a resignation or dismissal.
  • 70 (3%) cases resulted in a criminal conviction or a caution.
  • 258 (11%) cases resulted in either a written or verbal warning

The report has a breakdown by police department for those seeking more detailed information on particular departments.  BBW got a 95% response rate to their freedom of information request, which is pretty impressive.

What would have been interesting to see is whether the discipline has shifted to more severe over the past two years, but their methodology did not request the dates of incidents or disciplinary actions.

Read their full report and recommendations on BBW.

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