Northamptonshire Police staff disclosed personal information or misused the force computer system 24 times in three years

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Staff and officers at Northamptonshire Police committed 24 data breaches during three-and-a-half year period, latest figures show.

Results of Freedom of Information (FOI) requests sent to all police forces reveal details of the disciplinary action taken against staff who misused Northamptonshire Police’s intelligence system between June 2011 to December 2015.

One member of staff received a criminal conviction for misuse of the force computer system.

Two officers and three members of staff, were disciplined internally for improper disclosure of personal information.

And one officer was disciplined for failing to disclose information and another for misusing the computer system.

Information was not provided about 14 of the incidents.

Renate Samson, chief executive of campaign group Big Brother Watch, which submitted the FoI requests, said work is still needed to ensure personal information is safe in police hands.

She said: “The Government are about to give law enforcement access to the details of all the websites each and every one of us look at.

“In light of our findings, questions must be asked about whether more access will make for better policing or only increase the opportunities for misuse.”

A Northamptonshire Police spokesman said all officers abd staff receive compulsory training on data protection legislation.

The spokesman said: “We take the responsibility given to us to ensure people’s data is kept and accessed correctly very seriously, and have measures in place to monitor who accesses information via force systems.

“Anyone who is found to have accessed or shared information without the correct permission is subject to a Professional Standards investigation and may face disciplinary action, including the prospect of dismissal.

“All officers and staff working within Northamptonshire Police receive compulsory training on data protection legislation and are provided with timely reminders about the obligations placed upon them to ensure that any data they access and share is done so within the confines of the law.”