Police call manager warned son about speed cameras
This Derbyshire Police call manager illegally accessed confidential information about her ex-husband’s new partner on the force’s national computer.
Derby Crown Court heard how Sharon Toombs also told her son where the local mobile speed cameras are located.
In 25 months, the 48-year-old has logged on to the news 22 times, “chatting” with his son about local criminal incidents.
Toombs, also known as Sharon Bagshaw, said “thank you” to the judge when he told him he would not send her to jail immediately.
Prosecutor Philip Plant said Toombs, of Devonshire Drive, Matlock, started working in the contact management system at Derbyshire Police HQ in Ripley in 2017.
He said that after being trained, she started illegally accessing the PNC (National Police Computer) in October 2018.
Mr Plant described a number of incidents, including searching for information about her ex-husband’s new partner and, after discovering that a mobile speed camera patrol was in the area where she lived, sending a WhatsApp message to his son to tell him.
He said she also texted him about ongoing incidents in his area to verify he was not there or to warn him to avoid the area.
Toombs pleaded guilty to one count of misconduct in the performance of public office.
She denied the accusation of knowingly obtaining personal data.
Her son did not commit any criminal act, we learned at the hearing.
Thomas Cullen, mitigating, said his client cared about his mother and worked in a charity shop.
Handing him a four-month sentence, suspended for two years, Judge Shaun Smith said: “The guilt in a case like this can only be high and the reason is the trust placed in someone who is either a police officer or works for the police who have access to information that should not be disclosed.
“I take into account that you lost your job as a result of what happened and that there was no financial motivation for your actions.
“Mr. Cullen (his attorney) admitted that you acted out of stupidity and naivety and I think that’s fair.
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“In short, no one suffered directly from what you did, there were no casualties.”
Following his guilty plea in late June, Derbyshire Police released a statement.
They said: “This police staff member was suspended following allegations that she violated data protection law and committed misconduct in the performance of public office.
“She resigned from the force shortly before a disciplinary hearing was held on June 22.
“At this hearing, testimonies were heard and it was decided that if she had always been an active member of the organization, she would have been dismissed for serious misconduct.
“As this case shows, the force takes data protection seriously and all officers and staff regularly undergo mandatory training to ensure they are aware of their responsibilities.”
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