A Carlisle drugs gang have been sentenced to a total of 12 and a half years in prison for using confidential information from a police computer to hit rival dealers and expand their own network.
Carlisle Crown Court heard former police worker Ben Lewis from Brampton passed on the intelligence to a drug dealer. Today the judge said there should be great concern about how easy it was for him to access sensitive information. ITV Border's Correspondent John Bevir has sent this report.
A Carlisle drugs gang have been jailed for 12 years, it included a former police worker who used his access to police computers to find out information on rival gangs. Commenting after the sentencing Temporary Deputy Chief Constable Jeremy Graham said:
“Cumbria Constabulary stores very sensitive information and access to this data is tightly controlled to help us fight crime and protect the community.
“The Constabulary expects the highest standards of professionalism from all police officers and staff at all times.
– Temporary Deputy Chief Constable Jeremy Graham said:
"Ben Lewis abused his position of trust and disclosed highly sensitive information to criminal associates. As soon as suspicions about his behaviour came to light we took swift action and suspended him from duty. He no longer works for the Constabulary.
“We work hard to protect the community and the confidential information we hold. A breach of our trust from a member of staff is taken extremely seriously and this court case shows the lengths we will go to protect confidential data and the safety of our communities.”
A Carlisle drugs gang have been sentenced to a total of 12 and a half years in prison for using confidential information from a police computer to 'take down' rival dealers and expand their own network.
At Carlisle Crown Court today, 21 year old Jamie MacAuley was described as a 'devious and intelligent drug dealer' who was the 'leading light' in the scheme.
MacAuley persuaded his friend Ben Lewis, also 21 and a civilian employee at Cumbria Police, to use the police computer to help grow their Cannabis and Cocaine dealing network.
Lewis used the so called 'sleuth' computer database to find out what the police knew about MacAuley and also to find out sensitive information about rival drug dealers. They then used that informationto make anonymous tip-offs to try and get their rivals 'taken off the streets'.
MacAuley's girlfriend, 18 year old Lauren Richardson, was also in court today as she acted as the go-between for MacAuley and Lewis.
MacAuley was sentenced to 6 years in prison, Lewis 4 and a half years and Richardson 2 years.
After the sentencing, Judge Paul Batty QC said how he expected Cumbria Police were 'greatly concerned' by the ease at which a civilian employee was able to access such sensitive information so easily, and that they should be considering 'how this was able to happen'.