According to a report Police forces across the UK are still involved in 10 data breaches a week.
The report by civil liberties campaign group, Big Brother Watch, was based on freedom of information requests and revealed that between June 2011 and December 2015 police officers and staff were responsible for at least 2,315 data breaches.
The greatest amount of data breaches were by the West Midlands Police (488) followed by the Surrey Police (202) Humberside Police (168) and Avon and Somerset (163).
The report found more than 800 employees accessed personal information for no policing purpose, while data was shared inappropriately or without authorisation almost 900 times.
In more than half of the cases the report said no formal disciplinary action was taken, while a written or verbal warning was issued in only 11% of cases.
As a result of the government’s ‘digital by default’ policy the report found that the levels of data the police will handle will increase.
The report said: “While there have been improvements in how forces ensure data is handled correctly, this report reveals there is still room for improvement. Forces must look closely at the controls in place to prevent misuse and abuse.”
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