Policewoman jailed for breaching Data Protection Act


A Policewoman has been jailed for more than two years for stealing sensitive data and passing it on to a third party.

Karen Howie, a 34-year-old Constable from Carnoustie, Scotland, breached the Data Protection Act (DPA) when she took details of an ongoing investigation from Police computers and passed them onto her partner, Neil Hand.

Hand then used the details to warn a suspect supposedly embroiled in a counterfeiting scam. He admitted to the court in Dundee he had also breached the DPA, whilst Howie confessed to two counts of perverting the course of justice.

Deputy Chief Constable Gordon Scobbie, head of Tayside Police where Howie used to work, told the BBC: "Criminal behaviour of this nature is exceptionally rare and the vast majority of our police officers and police staff act with integrity and honesty day in and day out."

"Our collective dismay at this case is only tempered by our resolve to ensure that we continue to investigate every allegation of wrongdoing and retain public trust and confidence."

Howie had already resigned her post at Kirriemuir Police Station.

Jennifer Scott

Jennifer Scott is a former freelance journalist and currently political reporter for Sky News. She has a varied writing history, having started her career at Dennis Publishing, working in various roles across its business technology titles, including ITPro. Jennifer has specialised in a number of areas over the years and has produced a wealth of content for ITPro, focusing largely on data storage, networking, cloud computing, and telecommunications.

Most recently Jennifer has turned her skills to the political sphere and broadcast journalism, where she has worked for the BBC as a political reporter, before moving to Sky News.