Former sergeant accessed police computer systems for personal reasons despite previous disciplinary action

A former police officer who accessed police computer systems for personal reasons has been found to have committed gross misconduct.

Former Police Sergeant Karen Brimson used the systems 18 times between September 2016 and August 2019 to access information, which was mainly centred around a family member.

There was no valid policing purpose for the enquiries and they breached Essex Police policy.

Previously, in 2014, she had been formally warned about accessing police information for personal reasons at a misconduct hearing and received a written warning.

A misconduct panel, led by legally qualified chair Trevor Jones, was held on Thursday June 4.

Ms Brimson had declined to answer any questions when interviewed and did not attend the hearing.

The panel found Ms Brimson had breached the standards of Honesty and Integrity; Orders and Instructions; Confidentiality; and Discreditable Conduct.

The panel decided she would have been dismissed from the force if she had not previously resigned.

Ms Brimson will now be included on the College of Policing Barred List, which prevents her from returning to the police service or joining other policing bodies.

Deputy Chief Constable Pippa Mills said: “Our policy is clear that officers and staff should only access police information for legitimate policing reasons, not for personal reasons.

“It is crucial that the public can trust our officers and staff to use police systems containing the confidential and sensitive information entrusted to us by the public properly and for legitimate policing purposes.

“The former officer concerned had no excuse for her behaviour, having received training in relation to the appropriate use of force systems and previously being warned for similar matters.”

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Mick Ferris

Editor Email: [email protected]