VPD officer suspended after accessing, sharing 'sensitive' information about minor

Aug 6 2019, 9:27 pm

A Vancouver Police (VPD) officer has been disciplined after “accessing sensitive information for a personal purpose and disclosing it to unauthorized persons,” according to the Office of the Police Complaint Commissioner (OPCC).

In a release on Tuesday, the OPCC said that on July 18, an independent adjudicator issued a judgement into the unauthorized access and release of sensitive police information, including information protected by the Youth Criminal Justice Act (YCJA).

The OPCC said that after it provided oversight of the investigation and appointed an independent adjudicator, it was determined that the officer had committed misconduct, and “the seriousness of this misconduct by a senior officer” resulted in three, five-day suspensions.

The adjudicator also recommended the Chief Constable place a “renewed focus” on training in relation to police databases and disclosure of information in light of “an increasing, and evolving, public awareness of the importance” of privacy responsibilities.

“Police are entrusted with sensitive data about British Columbians and must adhere to strict rules in its use and disclosure,” said Clayton Pecknold, Police Complaint Commissioner.

“Where a police officer disregards those rules purposefully, the public must be assured that serious consequences will result and appropriate steps will be taken to prevent recurrence.”

Pecknold also recommended that “all chief constables and police boards review this decision carefully and ensure their protection of information policies are robust and current.”

The officer involved was identified as a  senior-ranking VPD officer by the OPCC, but their name is being withheld so as to “protect the identity of the minor” involved in the case.