A former Humberside Police officer has been sentenced to six months imprisonment, suspended for two years, and 200 hours community service for misconduct in public office following an investigation managed by the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) and conducted by Humberside Police.
PC Kate Elston, who was based in Grimsby, passed information and intelligence to a member of the public during her duties between February 2019 and September 2020.
Records show that PC Elston was on duty during that period and had access to confidential police information and intelligence, which she subsequently shared without any policing purpose.
In August 2020, she sent an image of her computer terminal showing a confidential briefing sheet via WhatsApp to a member of the public.
Evidence gathered by investigators identified there were further occasions whereby PC Elston supplied confidential police information to the same member of the public.
The information included emails and images related to crimes she and other officers had attended.
The investigation started in September 2020, following a referral from Humberside Police and concluded in July 2021.
PC Elston was arrested at Grimsby Police Station on 5 October 2020 for corrupt or other improper exercise of police powers and privileges.
Det Sup Matt Baldwin said it had been “a troubling case where highly confidential information had been shared.”
“Breaches of this nature are always viewed with utmost seriousness as the impact they have on investigations can be significant”
IOPC Director of Major Investigations Steve Noonan said:
“Disclosing confidential information without reasonable excuse or justification can significantly damage the trust and confidence that members of the public place in the police.
“Elston’s behaviour was audacious, corrupt and criminal. Her actions were a complete betrayal of the public’s trust and have no place in policing.
“The evidence we have seen points towards this being an isolated case of police corruption but the outcome sends a clear message to any officer who conducts themselves in such a way – they face serious consequences and will be held to account.”
“Forces have a key role to play in tackling issues like this and I would like to thank the team at Humberside Police for their professionalism and thorough investigation that has ultimately led to the sentencing today.”
In addition to her sentence, Elston has been placed on the College of Policing Barred List, which means she would be unable to work for any other police force in the country.
She was dismissed from Humberside Police at a Misconduct hearing held in November 2021.
Before you go...
We need your help. As former emergency services & armed forces personnel, we pride ourselves on bringing you important, fast-moving and breaking news stories & videos which are free from the negative bias which is often directed at the emergency services & NHS by some sections of the mainstream media.
One of the reasons we started 'Emergency Services News' back in 2018 was because we became tired of reading badly informed stories about the emergency services & NHS which seemed only ever to highlight negative aspects of the job.
We want to be the unheard voice of the remarkable men and women who serve in the emergency services, NHS and armed forces. And with around 500k page views each month, we are getting there!
As income from ads, the mainstay source of income for most publishers, continues to decline; we need the help of you, our readers.
You can support emergency services news from as little as £1. It only takes a minute. Every contribution, however big or small, is vital for our future.
Please help us to continue to highlight the life-saving work of the emergency services, NHS and armed forces by becoming a supporter.