South Yorkshire Police defend data protection law policy

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Police chiefs in South Yorkshire have defended the force’s record in abiding by the Data Protection Act – despite admitting officers and staff have breached the rules on 70 occasions.

Forces across the country have released details, under the Freedom of Information Act, of how many times data breaches occurred during a four-year period.

Between 2009 and 2013 police officers and staff in South Yorkshire were pulled up on 70 occasions. One time, last year, a member of staff was sacked for passing on information to a third party. In 2010 a PCSO was dismissed for unlawfully obtaining information from police systems.

A South Yorkshire Police spokesman said: “The force takes its obligations in respect of the Data Protection Act extremely seriously and in the relatively few cases where officers and staff fall short of the standards expected, robust misconduct processes are in place with sanctions ranging from words of advice to dismissal in the most serious cases.”