28 March 2015

PSO breach

The Ballarat Courier reports that a Victorian Protective Services Officer (PSO) has been fined $500, placed on a six-month diversion plan and ordered to write a letter of apology to the victim after accessing and sending personal details of his brother's old flame "for a laugh".

He had pleaded guilty to disclosing information when not authorised to do so.

Concerns regarding 'undertrained, undersupervised and overauthorised' PSOs - transport personnel with policing powers - have been noted elsewhere in this blog. The offender was on duty at Ballarat Railway Station  in July last year when he encountered his brother's friend.
Back at the police pod at the railway station, [the offender]'s colleague logged into the police database to conduct checks on individuals they had spoken to.
After asking his colleague to search the woman, police documents state [the offender] took a photo of her personal details, telling the officer he was only "sending it to his brother for a laugh".
[His] colleague challenged him, suggesting it was inappropriate, and later reported the security breach to police.
[The offender] was interviewed on July 22 and made to surrender his phone, where the picture of the private information was saved. 
The Ballarat Magistrate was reportedly satisfied that the offender's actions were not sinister or calculated, but ordered him to resign from his position. "It does show a foolish failure to understand and comply with regulations in respect to accessing this private data".