"He was in a position where he had access to this system"
An employee of Leicestershire Police, Ajit Singh, has been sentenced for doing unauthorised searches on his police computer including looking up David and Victoria Beckham.
Singh, aged 49, joined Leicestershire Police in 2002 and while working at Mansfield House police station in Leicester city centre, he conducted 146 illegal searches.
Majority of the searches Singh did on the police computer were of a personal nature. These included details about his name, his address, his wife, a plot of land which he owned and two related to the Beckhams.
He conducted the searches of the police databases between the early days of his employment and the year 2018. After his misconduct was discovered he was immediately suspended.
Singh who lives in Humberstone, Leicester, had a trial in August 2019 for his offence and was convicted for the misuse of a police computer Leicester Magistrates’ Court.
Subsequently, on September 12, 2019, Singh was sentenced for his criminal actions and instigated internal misconduct proceedings by the police force.
The court heard that Singh’s job was collating information for colleagues and helping those preparing for court cases.
Alexander Barbour, Singh’s lawyer said that he had made over 16,000 legitimate uses of different police databases and the electoral register during his time with Leicestershire Police force.
The exact reasons for his unauthorised searches and why he did them was not revealed in court.
Mr Barbour said:
“There was no intention to harm others and there was no harm to others.”
In addition, it was stated that he did not pass the information on to others and made no financial gain from the searches.
During his trial, Singh claimed that he could not remember conducting the searches and that due to the ‘hot desking’ nature at the police station, any other staff member could have done them.
However, after an investigation was undertaken into Singh’s conduct and concerns were raised about Singh’s use of the police computer, it was proven only he could’ve conducted the illegal searches.
Prosecuting, Mr Harbinder Gahir, told the court:
“He was in a position where he had access to this system, as he was employed with Leicestershire Police.
“It is alleged by the Crown that he used the system to check for a plot of vacant land, which he owned, which was a search not of a police nature
Singh a married father was sentenced to three months in prison, suspended for 12 months. In addition, he had to pay £300 in costs and a victim surcharge of £115 by magistrates.
After the sentencing, according to LeicesterLive, Detective Inspector Julian Lester, of Leicestershire Police’s professional standards department, said:
“This behaviour isn’t acceptable and won’t be tolerated by the force.”
Now the criminal proceedings have concluded, disciplinary action will be considered.”
Disciplinary hearings, which tend to be open to press and the public, can result in an officer or staff member’s instant dismissal.
The panels can also issue directions falling short of dismissal, including final warnings.