Northamptonshire detective in hot water after looking up secret lover on police system
He's been given a written warning after a misconduct hearing
A Northamptonshire Police detective who breached standards by accessing the record of his secret lover has been given a written warning after a disciplinary hearing ruled it would be 'calamitous' to lose him.
Detective Sergeant Keith Morson was spared from being dismissed at a misconduct hearing, which related to dealings with a woman he was having an extra-marital relationship with.
At the time she was an independent witness as part of an organised crime investigation which Det Sgt Morson was working on.
It was alleged that this relationship had the potential to compromise the independence of that person and of any subsequent criminal proceedings.
He admitted breaching the standards of professional behaviour after accessing the Niche nominal record in June 2020 - on the police records system - of the person with whom he was in a relationship. He admitted that accessing the record amounted to misconduct.
After a two-day disciplinary hearing last month Northamptonshire Police ruled he would be given a written warning, which will be on his record for 18 months.
The panel said: “Data that is confidential should remain confidential and the public should know that it is not accessed for any purpose other than a policing purpose.
“DS Morson knew that very well. In this case accessing Niche had no adverse consequence. Nevertheless, a sanction is warranted.
“The panel have born in mind the antecedents and sparkling references he has put before the panel.
"The achievements, diligence and effectiveness of this officer are exceptional and have been so for many years. It would be calamitous for the force to lose this officer.
“We want others who hear of these proceedings to understand that unlawful accessing of material is prohibited. We need to send a message that there will be consequences for any such misconduct. The officer admitted the breach early and we recognise his early admission."
The panel ruled further allegations that Det Sgt Morson failed to declare his extra-marital relationship to his line manager or senior officer, accessed his lover's Niche record in February 2020 and failed to record or report finding a covert tracking device on her car would be dismissed because of insufficient evidence.