Former police officer who shared confidential information is jailed for misconduct in public office - The Rugby Observer

Former police officer who shared confidential information is jailed for misconduct in public office

Rugby Editorial 23rd May, 2024   0

CONFIDENTIAL information was shared with members of the public by a former Northamptonshire Police officer, who has been jailed for misconduct in a public office.

Matthew Bell, formerly a response officer, shared details regarding various police incidents – including serious road traffic collisions and arrests – between September 2019 and June 2022.

On some occasions, Bell would access the police computer system to look up information after he had been asked questions about incidents by his family or friends.

Following an investigation, he was interviewed and charged with misconduct in a public office.

After pleading guilty to the offence, he was sentenced at Southwark Crown Court to nine months in prison.

Ch Insp Adam Pendlebury from Northamptonshire Police’s Professional Standards Department said: “The nature of policing involves being exposed to confidential information on a daily basis.

“We are very clear on the fact that this information should be handled sensitively and accessed only when there is a legitimate policing purpose to do so. Anyone who misuses it or shares it with family and friends has no place in our profession.

“PC Bell’s offending took place over a long period of time, demonstrating a lack of integrity and undermining public confidence in policing.

“I hope the fact that we have brought him before the courts reassures the public that regardless of who you are, we will do everything we can to bring you to justice.”

Bell resigned from the Force in March of last year. At his misconduct hearing, the chair – Ch Const Paul Gibson from Lincolnshire Police – determined Bell would have been dismissed had he still been a serving officer.


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