Quickly exit this site by pressing the Escape key Leave this site
This site is a beta, which means it's a work in progress and we'll be adding more to it over the next few weeks. Your feedback helps us make things better, so please let us know what you think.
A former Northamptonshire Police officer has received a suspended prison sentence after being convicted of a string of data offences.
Gareth Cox today (Tuesday, September 20) appeared for sentencing at Leicester Magistrates Court after an earlier hearing in August at which he admitted one charge of causing a computer to perform a function to secure / enable unauthorised access to a program/ data, an offence contrary to Section 1(1) and (3) of the Computer Misuse Act 1990.
In addition, he also pleaded guilty to five separate charges of knowingly/ recklessly obtaining or disclosing personal data without the consent of the controller, contrary to section 170(1)(a) and 196(2) of the Data Protection Act 2018.
District Judge Watson at Leicester Magistrates told the court this was a “gross breach of trust and there had been harm to public confidence”.
In sentencing Cox to a 12-week suspended sentence, which was then reduced to eight weeks due to his early plea, he said the defendant would also be required to wear an electronic tag to monitor compliance with an imposed 7pm-7am curfew.
Cox was also ordered to complete 200 hours of unpaid work in the community.
Cox was formally dismissed from Northamptonshire Police following a fast-track misconduct hearing on September 8, where he was found guilty of four gross misconduct allegations.
The allegations against Cox, who had already resigned from the Force on August 31 this year, included disclosing confidential information to a third party, having sexual relations with two separate females while on duty, creating diary entries deliberately intended to mislead his bosses around his whereabouts on duty and using police premises and a Police vehicle to facilitate meets with these females.
The hearing found he had breached a number of standards including honesty and integrity.
Speaking after the hearing in Leicester, DS Sarah Osborne, who led the investigation for the Force’s Professional Standards Department, said: “We are pleased with the outcome of today’s hearing which goes to show that any officer or member of staff risks full criminal proceedings – including potential custody - if they are found to have disclosed confidential data deliberately. Today’s result should serve as a warning to those that cross the line in this way.
“Northamptonshire Police expects all of its officers and staff to uphold the highest standards of professional behaviour and abide by a “code of ethics” which is aimed to build trust and confidence with the public whom we serve.
“Where we suspect officers or staff have not lived up to the high standards that the public should expect, they will be investigated in relation to any potential misconduct. In order to ensure the public can be confident in policing, we have a barred list, which will prevent officers who are found to have fallen below our standards, whether they have resigned or are dismissed, from taking up a role in policing in the future. This will be the case for Gareth Cox.”