Yet another incident of a public official abusing their access to information has arisen, this time in Liverpool.
DCI Mike Lawlor has been charged with six counts of accessing personal information held by the police without authorisation.
As highlighted by the Liverpool Echo, He worked at the Intelligence and Security Bureau (ISB) at Merseyside police’s Canning Place headquarters and was first arrested in June.
Big Brother Watch published a report earlier this year exposing how more than 900 police staff and officers had breached the Data Protection Act
While there is the potential for an unlimited fine for breaching the DPA, there is no possibility of a custodial sentence. This power has been legislated for, however the Coalition has yet to
This case once again highlights how there is a clear need for such a punishment to be available to the courts. It also demonstrates how such incidents are not confined to low level staff, but those working at a highly sensitive level.
Big Brother Watch will be keeping a close eye on the punishment handed down, and will continue to argue for custodial sentences to be brought into force as soon as possible.