Rogue police worker used force computer to spy for friends

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A CIVILIAN police worker who accessed a national force database to share sensitive information with two pals has been told his actions were ‘shocking’ and inexcusable’ by magistrates.

Kevin Davis was working for Northumbria Police when he agreed to carry out unauthorised searches on behalf of friends Jacqueline Robinson and Vincent Pattison, both from Sunderland.

The 51-year-old used the Police National Computer to find the address that Robinson’s husband was staying at, while they underwent a divorce.

Davis, of Bude Square, Murton, uncovered the personal details of the previous owner of a vehicle which had been purchased by Pattison, so he could obtain its logbook.

He also used the system to search for personal details of his own family members – and to get the insurance price of a motorbike he has planning to buy.

Davis then took a sick day from work in order to buy the motorbike.

He carried out the searches between January 7, 2013, and August 28, 2014.

He was suspended when his catalogue of offences were discovered and he later resigned from his position.

Davis, who was based at South Tyneside Area Command, in South Shields, pleaded guilty to a charge of knowingly or recklessly obtaining and disclosing personal data information at South Tyneside Magistrates’ Court yesterday.

Pattison, 32, and 50-year-old Robinson also admitted aiding and abetting, counselling or procuring Davis to carry out the offence.

Jeanette Smith, prosecuting, said: “At the time, Davis was employed by Northumbria Police in its control room as a dispatcher and resource controller.

“He had access to the Police National Computer (PNC) and also trained staff in the use of the PNC. He knew it was only to be used for policing purposes.

“He used the PNC to carry out a vehicle inquiry into a motorbike for insurance purposes. He later took a certified sick day and went to buy it.

“He was asked by Pattison to access the police log of one of his associates.

“Pattison also sent him a text saying ‘I have bought a 1.8l Mondeo. I have the MOT certificate. is there any way to find out the previous owner to get the log book.

“The following day, Davis gave the name and address of the previous owner and told Pattison to say there was a document in the car with his details on.

“In July 2014, Robinson, who was a friend of Davis, asked him to track down the brother of her husband, as he was staying with him.

“He found the address and provided it to her.

“When her husband found out the address had been given out by someone working in the police, he was very distressed.

“When Davis was arrested, he accepted he did use the PNC for unauthorised reasons.”

The court heard that Pattison is the partner of Davis’ niece and has a criminal record, a fact which Davis should have disclosed to his employers.

Geoffrey Forrester, defending both Pattison and Davis, said: “What you have to ask is was there anything corrupt here, is there a true criminality, where someone is using confidential information to support or assist any form of criminality.

“The answer is there is not.

“Davis has not been the eyes and ears of a crime group. Pattison is in the motor business and asked for a favour.

“Davis did not get any reward for this information. He has lost his job as a result. He has paid a heavy price for this.”

Christopher Brown, defending Robinson, added: “She was going through the turmoil of a divorce. She asked if Davis could get an address for the purpose of serving documents.

“She made an error of judgement, significantly so.

“She is of previous exemplary character. She is ashamed and very remorseful.

“She is deeply sorry for what she has done.

Barry Hunter, chairman of the magistrates, told Davis: “The bench feels this is an abuse of trust.

“You were in a position of trust and what you did was absolutely shocking and inexcusable.

“The public have a right to feel their personal data is secure and those who have access to it, do so with integrity.”

Sentencing Pattison and Robinson, Mr Hunter added: “The bench feels you both asked for information that you shouldn’t have asked for.”

Davis was fined £293 and ordered to pay court costs of £85 and a £29 victim surcharge.

Robinson, of Wallace Street, Sunderland, and Pattison, of Closeburn Square, Sunderland, were both fined £110 and ordered to pay court costs of £85 and a £20 victim surcharge.

A Northumbria Police spokeswoman said: “Northumbria Police expects the highest standards of integrity and professionalism of all its staff.

“Kevin Davis was suspended from duty with Northumbria Police in September 2014 and has since resigned from his post.

“We note the decision of the court in relation to the matter.”

However, when asked what safeguarding measures were in place to prevent other civilian officers carrying out similar offences, the force declined to comment.