Tuesday, April 17, 2012

#Clydebank #PoliceCorruption exposed in Scottish court Officer found guilty of stealing personal data

A police officer based in Clydebank faces dismissal from the service after admitting a charge of obtaining personal data for non-policing ­purposes.

For five months Police Constable Jeff Jones – a former soldier of the Special Air Service and Parachute Regiment – searched the Scottish Intelligence Database to find information on several people linked with the murder of a Clydebank man in 2008. Among those whose details he looked up was drug dealer Gary Edmonds, who is living in witness protection.

The officer claimed his searches were motivated by a desire to find out about his girlfriend’s family and were not an attempt to pass information of the witness’s whereabouts to other criminals. PC Jones is in a relationship with the sister of the man convicted of stabbing 28-year-old Paul Boland to death in Faifley on December 13, 2008.

Gary Edmonds was a co-accused in that case but the charges against him were dropped when he agreed to turn Crown’s evidence. He was placed in witness protection as police believe he could be targeted for assisting the prosecution.

Experts said there was no chance of PC Jones finding information that could trace Edmonds, as such sensitive data is protected deep within the system. They stressed people under witness protection are safe, with information of their whereabouts being restricted even within the intelligence database.

Thomas Ross, PC Jones’ solicitor, said: “He made inquiries in relation to various people, some of whom were connected to the murder case, because he intended to satisfy himself there was nothing for him to be ­worried about continuing his ­relationship.
“There was no intention on his part to share any of the information he was able to obtain with anyone. It’s been a catastrophic mistake as far as his career with the police is concerned and he suspects this may be the end of his career.”

Appearing before Dumbarton Sheriff Court last week, PC Jones admitted to carrying out the searches over a five month period between May and September 2010. He could be fined rather than imprisoned but is also facing a Strathclyde Police disciplinary process, which could see him dismissed from the force.

Please note comments on this article have been blocked as it remains an active legal case.