Nottingham

Nottinghamshire PC Robert Kirk jailed for police computer misuse

A Nottinghamshire police officer has been jailed for eight months for misusing police computer systems to find personal information.

Robert Kirk, 47, from West Bridgford, resigned as a PC after admitting carrying out almost 500 searches on police databases over eight years.

The data related to family members, ex-lovers and prospective neighbours in areas he was interested in moving to.

Judge David Pugsley said he had committed "a major breach of trust".

'Genuinely remorseful'

Kirk, who joined Nottinghamshire Police in 1985, resigned on 1 October after admitting misconduct in public office at Derby Crown Court.

Judge Pugsley said: "References point to a hard-working police officer who had worked well, who was promising, but you know what you did was a major breach of trust.

"There have sadly been prosecutions of cases of this sort and in a closed community such as a police force I cannot accept that you were unaware that what you were doing was wrong."

Kirk used four main police databases to look at information relating to at least three partners both before and during his relationships with them, and also once the relationships were over.

Kirks' solicitor Timothy Savage said his client was genuinely remorseful for the offence and said it was not idle curiosity that led him to carry out the searches but rather "putting his mind at rest".

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