The public hearing ran from Wednesday April 20 to Thursday April 21 at Basildon Family Court. The panel heard that in May 2015 Pc Catherine Sharp, who is based at Police Headquarters in Chelmsford, instructed a colleague to access police systems without a proper policing purpose.
The independent panel, chaired by Mr James Tumbridge, found that in all the circumstances the officer s conduct had breached the standards of professional behaviour in terms of confidentiality and discreditable conduct.
After the hearing, Chief Superintendent Andy Prophet of Essex Police said:
“As a police service we are entrusted to hold information and intelligence. This privilege helps us in our duty to keep people and communities safe. The information must only ever be accessed for proper policing purposes.
“Essex Police take breaches of professional standards extremely seriously. All officers and staff understand that inappropriate access to and use of information is completely unacceptable.
“Every case must of course be judged on the individual circumstances. Police officers and staff are human beings and, on occasions, make mistakes. Where these actions are deemed to be isolated and not driven by a broader criminal intent, regulations allow the misconduct panel to consider a range of sanctions up to and including dismissal.
“In this case, given the particular circumstances, the independent panel felt that a final written warning was the most appropriate outcome.