Former Northamptonshire Police officer sentenced in court after sharing confidential information

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A former Northamptonshire Police officer has been sentenced in court after sharing confidential policing information outside of the force.

PC Matthew Bell, formerly a response officer, appeared at Southwark Crown Court on Friday (May 17) for sentencing, after he pleaded guilty to misconduct in a public office.

The 38-year-old shared confidential policing information with people outside of Northamptonshire Police between September 14, 2019, and June 29, 2022.

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According to Northamptonshire Police, the information shared included details regarding various police incidents including serious road traffic collisions and arrests.

The former officer worked for Northamptonshire Police.The former officer worked for Northamptonshire Police.
The former officer worked for Northamptonshire Police.

Bell would access the police computer system to look up information after he had been asked questions about incidents by his family or friends, police say.

Chief Inspector Adam Pendlebury from Northamptonshire Police’s Professional Standards Department said: “The nature of policing involves being exposed to confidential information on a daily basis.

“We are very clear on the fact that this information should be handled sensitively and accessed only when there is a legitimate policing purpose to do so. Anyone who misuses it or shares it with family and friends has no place in our profession.

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“PC Bell’s offending took place over a long period of time, demonstrating a lack of integrity and undermining public confidence in policing.

“I hope the fact that we have brought him before the courts reassures the public that regardless of who you are, we will do everything we can to bring you to justice.”

Bell was sentenced to nine months in prison.

Bell resigned from the force on March 3, 2023. An accelerated misconduct hearing held on Thursday (May 16), found he would have been dismissed had he still been a serving officer.