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Cop Who Used Police Computers to Check Up on Niece's Boyfriend Gets Caught and Sacked

  1. Beenthere2Hippie
    A police officer was sacked today for snooping on confidential police computers about the criminal activity of her relatives and their boyfriends.

    A catalogue of allegations that Paula Humphreys looked at off-limits sections of the Merseyside force’s database were proven after a two-day disciplinary hearing. The 43-year-old researched her sister Dawn’s boyfriend Lee Gallagher who later was jailed for more than four years after being found with £56,000 worth of heroin. And the cop, from West Derby , stumped up £20,000 bail surety for her niece Jodie MacDonald when she was arrested in Bristol for money laundering.

    That was not flagged up to her bosses, the committee was told, who described her actions as lacking ‘honesty and integrity.’

    The domestic violence officer, who has worked at Kirkby and Huyton police stations, undermined the public confidence in Merseyside Police, Assistant Chief Constable Andy Ward ruled. The married mum was sacked, without notice, bringing a career of 17 years with the force to an end. Further illegal computer searches were carried out by Mrs Humphreys into another of Miss Macdonald’s boyfriends while her decision to sign a driving licence for Mr Gallagher - later sent to prison for Class A drug peddling - was also quizzed by misconduct officials.

    The married mum looked tearful, sat alongside Merseyside Police Federation representatives, as ACC Ward ruled that allegations of misconduct were proven. Steven Crossley, her lawyer, pleaded with the panel for Mrs Humphreys to be allowed to keep her job, which ‘she loves’ and has a previously ‘impeccable’ record. But that was rejected as ACC Ward said: “Our view of the officer being highly regarded has not changed.

    “This is a particularly sad case, but one of an officer who completely confused her professional responsibilities. For reasons known to herself, she has elected to disregard these {computer} policies. The panel agrees this does fall in area of judgement territory and that she has displayed very poor judgement. The sanction against the five allegations is one of dismissal without notice.”

    Mrs Humphreys first accessed police computers against force guidelines when her dad revealed her niece Jodie had been embroiled in a ‘domestic’ bust-up with her male friend.

    But her check revealed their arrest was instead linked to cannabis cultivation, the computer entries showed.

    Mrs Humphreys, who volunteers as a Girl Guide leader, claimed she had looked at confidential police records because she was worried anyone involved in crime who was in contact with her sister would compromise her job. The officer was previously cleared of criminal activity by magistrates, probing the same case, but Merseyside Police bosses ruled internal disciplinary issues were a separate matter.

    ACC Ward, in delivering his verdict, said PC Humphreys had displayed a lack of ‘honesty, integrity, and shown discreditable conduct,’ along with not following ‘orders and instructions.’

    Merseyside Police Federation, supporting the officer at the hearing in Wavertree Technology Park, declined to comment about the decision.

    By Luke Trainer - The Echo/Dec. 1, 2015
    Newshawk Crew

    Author Bio

    BT2H is a retired news editor and writer from the NYC area who, for health reasons, retired to a southern US state early, and where BT2H continues to write and to post drug-related news to DF.


  1. gonzochef
    Re: Cop Who Used Police Computers to Check Up on Niece's Boyfriend Gets Caught and Sa

    While her misconduct is not negligible, it certainly seems a shame to lose your career over something that some may view as petty. However, think of what other kinds of misconduct could stem from misusing the computer system? Since it sounds like this misconduct was not really malicious, I am glad that the ruling was to terminate. That kind of misuse of resources cannot be tolerated and no precedent to the contrary should be tolerated. What if, instead of looking into her family's private affairs, she was looking into yours? Or what if she had for whatever reason targeted a certain person or developed a disliking for someone and wished to damage their reputation with information that is not deemed public but that she can access? There are a number of ways in which this minor misuse of information could have become major. I definitely stand with the verdict and am glad that this isn't another case of a cop getting away with something.
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