Data Misuse: Police

In another case of data misuse by the police, PC Robert Anderson from Central Scotland Police accessed the police database for his own purpose.

PC Robert Anderson was suspended in March 2007, and was charged in December 2007 with 10 offences under the Data Protection Act 1998.

The offences were dated from January 2004 to January 2007 and allege he obtained data “for a purpose that was not the prevention or detection of crime“.

The trial was initially set for 12th March 2008, but evidence was not heard until later in 2008.

In court Pc Anderson fully admitted admitted accessing the police database for “non policing purposes”. The database accessed is called Scottish Intelligence Database (SID, and admitted accessing information about a person his friend has an argument in the pub with and his own mechanic. In short it was used purely for his own purpose.

Despite this clear evidence against him and his only defence being that he “could not recall” being told that he wasn’t allowed to use the database for his own purposes, the case collapsed in August 2008.

The reasoning is that that Sheriff Andrew Cubie said that evidence before the court suggested that officers had been given “mixed messages” about what database could be used for.

This is by no means the first time the police have accessed data in this way, and they have done this on numerous other occasions, nor will it be the last time.

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3 Responses to “Data Misuse: Police”

  1. Data Misuse: Examples of Police Data Misuse « Data – Where is it? Says:

    […] PC Robert Anderson from Central Scotland Police accessed the police database for his own purpose. […]

  2. Anonymous Says:

    why is it ok for police’s to do anything they want and not get in trouble for what they do wrong. they can misue there power. get information they want, tamper with information then send people to jail just cause they can where the fairness in this they them see on the other side and be treated like they treat people.

    • 585 Says:

      I don’t think it is OK and nor to the courts. When the police do get caught they tend to get harsher sentences and are open to a wider range of offences than other people; i.e. there is more to get them convicted.


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