Out-Law / Your Daily Need-To-Know

Data protection fine for 'bored' police worker

Out-Law News | 08 Jul 2004 | 12:00 am |

A computer operator working for Gwent Police has been fined £400 for using control room computers to investigate people she knew, in breach of the UK's Data Protection Act, according to a report by The Western Mail.

Under the Act of 1998 it is an offence to obtain personal data on an individual without the consent of the person in charge of the database on which the information is contained.

So when Leanne Thomas, 25, in what was described as "foolishness and boredom", looked up the police records on four of her friends, she was breaking the law.

She has since been suspended from her job as a computer operator in the Cwmbran police control room, and disciplinary proceedings are ongoing, reports The Western Mail.

She was fined £100 by magistrates for each of the four offences, and ordered to pay £50 in costs.