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130 Merseyside police officers abuse position and breach Data Protection Act

The Telegraph has reported that officers from Merseyside Police force breached the Data Protection Act 42 times throughout 2008, as a result of Freedom of Information Act disclosures. In 2009, there were 152 breaches.

The 2009 breaches were carried out at the time when Steven Gerrard was prosecuted over an alleged nightclub affray; a situation police believe intrigued officers to access confidetinal files relating to the incident. Gerrard was subsequently cleared of the alleged incident.

Other incidents involving family members and friends of officers were also illegally accessed; senior officers described the worst cases as “a serious abuse of force systems”. Around 7 officers have been made to leave the force as a result of their actions, with three others given written warnings.

The Telegraph has also reported that “A total of 169 officers were required to receive “managerial advice” about their behaviour, while 29 were given written warnings”.