Essex police officer found guilty of gross misconduct after accessing confidential data

Three men from Lowestoft have been arrested and charged with burglary offences in Beccles (stock ima

Three men from Lowestoft have been arrested and charged with burglary offences in Beccles (stock image) Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN - Credit: Archant

An Essex police officer who trawled through confidential data while under “emotional distress” has been handed a final written warning.

Detective Constable Ryan Burgess denied breaching the standards of professional behaviour relating to confidentiality, orders and instructions, authority, respect and courtesy and honesty and integrity, but a hearing found all allegations were proven with his actions amounting to gross misconduct.

The panel, led by legally qualified chair John Bassett, ruled that between June 17, 2017 and July 1, 2017, Dc Burgess had improperly accessed the Police National Computer for a personal purpose and subsequently did not disclose relevant information to his line manager.

Detective Chief Superintendent Steve Worron, who was sitting on the hearing panel, said: “Whilst Dc Burgess’ actions are not excusable, they were out of character and occurred at a time of particular emotional distress within the officer’s personal life.

“This, along with his positive 13-year career with the force, was taken into consideration when deciding on the appropriate action.

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“It is imperative that the public have trust in our officers to use police systems containing confidential and sensitive information properly and for legitimate policing purposes. We would like to assure members of the public that incidents like this are rare and our officers and staff operate with the utmost professionalism, honesty and integrity and take all matters relating to standards of professional behaviour seriously.”

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