Edinburgh based police officer faces PC court rap

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by PAUL THORNTON

A policewoman  has admitted illegally accessing information about people from computer databases at the station where she worked.

Anna Wong, 26, was suspended by Lothian and Borders Police after it emerged she had looked up personal data on people while working at St Leonards Police Station between March 2006 and June 2007.4-sheriff-court1

She used the Scottish Intelligence Database and the Lothian and Borders Operational Support System to obtain personal details of a number of Chinese people living in Scotland.

Charged

Miss Wong was charged with 54 breaches of the Data Protection Act and is facing a disciplinary hearing by bosses at Lothian and Borders force.

And yesterday (Friday) at Edinburgh Sheriff Court she admitted 27 of the charges, while Crown Office officials dropped the remaining allegations.

Miss Wong was not in court but her lawyer, David O’Hagan, said: “She is a police officer and she accessed the information, she did not pass it on.

“Essentially there was a number of Chinese individuals and she accessed it for her own information.”

Mr O’Hagan suggested the offence could be met with a financial penalty and asked that Miss Wong did not have to come to court.

Shocking

But Sheriff Elizabeth Jarvie QC said she wanted to see the shamed officer.

Sheriff Jarvie added: “That is shocking”.

She deferred sentence on Wong, who is from Hong Kong but lives in Edinburgh, until next week for her personal attendance.

Lothian and Borders Police say they will now conduct a misconduct investigation into Wong’s behaviour.

A police spokesman said: “We can confirm that an officer has been suspended and appeared in court charged with breaching the Data Protection Act.

“Following the conviction, consideration will now be given to carrying out a misconduct investigation under the Police (Conduct) (Scotland) Act 1996.”

2 COMMENTS

  1. Surely this must be looked at with the warning from MI 5 on the Chinese and e mails . Though this may not be part of that problem identified by MI5 it shows how people can be spied on, and how insecure data systems are.. Catherine

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