There has been a significant increase in the number of investigations into the abuse of police report databases.

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The number of back-office police officers arrested for misusing the police department’s log database has increased, but the police believe the figures are in line with the rise in employees.

The National Intelligence Application (NIA) system stores police intelligence, offence, and incident data and can only be accessed for lawful purposes.

According to documents published under the Official Information Act, there were four inquiries into the abuse of the website by service centre employees in 2018 – two of which were upheld.

However, the number increased to 20 last year, with 12 of them being upheld.

From 2018 to the end of 2020 nationwide there 146 investigations and just over half were upheld.

Twelve people’s employment was terminated as a result but the documents said this number included people who resigned during the process.

Police professional conduct director Jason Guthrie said service centre employees, made up of both constabulary and non-constabulary staff, were generally high volume users of the the NIA.

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He said the number of staff employed in service centres has increased in the past three years and currently makes up 31 percent of the total police workforce. He said that pushed up the number of database breaches.

The documents show nationwide 10 people were subject to disciplinary action.

Guthrie said most of the reported NIA use incidents were found to relate to low-level breaches and were successfully addressed through a remedial or performance management process.

Nationwide, 47 people had action taken that was flagged as “performance” and six as “remedial”.

The Otago Daily Times reports nearly 2 million people have an NIA with an alert against their name.

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