A FORMER detective has been jailed for nine months for trawling Scotland Yard’s criminal database for information on friends and family members.
Sundar Banerjee, of Straight Road, Old Windsor, used three Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) systems to do carry out more than 230 searches for his own ends between 2009 and 2013 and was jailed at the Old Bailey on Friday, October 30.
The 33-year-old was found guilty at the same court on Wednesday, September 16, of five counts of computer misuse under Section 1(1) of the Computer Misuse Act 1990. He had been charged with, and denied, 11 counts and was acquitted of six.
During the trial, the Old Bailey heard how Banerjee even searched for his own surname and the personalised number plate of his Citroen.
When caught he told bosses: “I don’t know why I’ve searched my own car and for what end, I was stupid.”
Banerjee later claimed he used his login details to instruct other officers how to use the criminal database for searches.
During sentencing, the judge, Recorder Brendan Finucane QC, told him the offences involved such ‘serious breaches of trust’ that only an immediate prison sentence was appropriate.
Mr Finucane said: “These offences show a disregard for the rules that were in place to protect sensitive information about members of the public by the very organisation that had the responsibility to do exactly that.
“You abused your position of trust, not only in relation to your employers, but also the public.
“The effect of such offences undermines public confidence in the security of confidential information kept by the organisation with a duty to protect it.”
Banerjee had been dismissed from the MPS without notice a week before the sentencing on Friday, October 23, following a special case hearing. He had been a detective constable attached to the Specialist Crime & Operations Directorate.
The officer faced allegations his conduct amounted to a breach of the standards of professional behaviour.
The chair of the panel overseeing the hearing found the allegations proven as gross misconduct leading to Banerjee’s dismissal.
After the sentencing, chief superintendent Matt Gardner, Directorate of Professional Standards at the MPS, said: “We set the highest standards for our officers and staff. Banerjee’s actions are wholly unacceptable.”