Queensland cop stood down over alleged confidential data access and release

An officer has been stood down from official duty before an appearance in court where he will face charges relating to alleged unauthorised distribution of information from a police database.
Written by Chris Duckett, Contributor

A Queensland policeman has been stood down over allegations he inappropriately accessed and released confidential information from the state's police database.

The 38-year-old constable, from the Southern Region, was on Tuesday served with a notice to appear in court by the Crime and Corruption Commission (CCC).

The watchdog said it investigated the alleged unauthorised use of the Queensland Police Service's (QPS) Qprime [Queensland Police Records and Information Management Exchange] database.

The man was charged with one count of misconduct in relation to public office, and another of improperly disclosing information in breach of the Police Service Administration Act or alternatively computer hacking and misuse.

"In keeping with our commitment to high standards of behaviour, transparency, and accountability, we have undertaken to inform the public when an officer faces serious allegations of misconduct," QPS said in a statement.

"This does not mean that the allegations against the officer have been substantiated."

The constable will appear in the Ipswich Magistrates Court on June 7.

Last week, the Queensland CCC released a report into the inappropriate access or use of confidential information in the state's public sector.

The report revealed the case of one police officer who pleaded guilty to 50 offences of computer hacking after using the police database to look up people he found on a number of telephone dating services.

The Queensland Police made up 67 percent of the around 400 allegations of information misuse in 2014-15, the report said, and 65 percent to March in this financial year.

"In this financial year alone, 483 such allegations have been received and ... this type of allegation is not only increasing in number but is also an increasing percentage of all allegations of corrupt conduct received by the CCC (7% in 2014-15 to 11.5% in 2016)," the report said.

The Queensland Police and the Queensland Crime and Corruption Commission are two of the agencies designated as enforcement agencies for the purposes of accessing information stored as part of Australia's data-retention laws.

Under those laws, enforcement agencies are able to warrantlessly access two years' worth of customers' call records, location information, IP addresses, billing information, and other data stored by telcos.

As revealed by ZDNet in January, 61 agencies had previously sought warrantless access to Australian telecommunications metadata.

With AAP

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