A Queensland police ‘staff member’ from the Gladstone region has been stood down from duty over alleged computer hacking.
A Queensland police ‘staff member’ from the Gladstone region has been stood down from duty over alleged computer hacking.

Gladstone police staffer stood down for ‘computer hacking’

A QUEENSLAND police staff member from the Gladstone region has been suspended from duty for allegedly hacking into a police computer and accessing information.

This is the sixth Queensland police employee who has been stood down from the Central Queensland region this year, according to the My Police Queensland website.

Queensland police issued a statement about the staff member, who is an unsworn member of the police force and not a uniformed officer, this afternoon.

“A 47-year-old staff member from Central Region has been suspended from the Queensland Police Service,” the statement said.

“The member is subject to allegations of inappropriately accessing and/or releasing confidential police records and has been issued with a Notice to Appear in the Gladstone Magistrates Court on October 26 for one offence of computer hacking and misuse pursuant to section 408E of the Criminal Code.

“In keeping with our commitment to high standards of behaviour, transparency and accountability, we have undertaken to inform the public when any Queensland Police Service employee faces serious allegations of misconduct.

“This does not mean that the allegations against the employee have been substantiated.”

It is not known if the staff member is a man or a woman.

It is understood the offence relates to accessing information that is not part of a current investigation.

As the staff member is not a uniformed officer, they are restricted in the information they are permitted to access.

Under Section 408E of the Criminal Code, a person who uses a restricted computer without the consent of the computer’s controller commits an offence and faces a maximum penalty of two years’ jail.

“If the person causes or intends to cause detriment or damage, or gains or intends to gain a benefit, the person commits a crime and is liable to imprisonment for five years,” the Criminal Code states.

“If the person causes a detriment or damage or obtains a benefit for any person to the value of more than $5000, or intends to commit an indictable offence, the person commits a crime and is liable to imprisonment for 10 years.”

But there is a legal defence to the alleged conduct.

“It is a defence to a charge under this section to prove that the use of the restricted computer was authorised, justified or excused by law,” the Criminal Code states.

Statements notifying that other officers from the Central Region were stood down from duty were issued on September 7, August 18, July 21 and 14 and April 29 this year.

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