Police officer illegally used work systems to trace mourners at dad’s funeral

A Lincolnshire Police officer illegally used the force computer system to trace mourners who attended his father’s funeral, a hearing was told today (Wed).

PC Calum Garrard-Kendal noted down the registration plates of vehicles at the service and then went on the police computer system to identify who they belonged to.

A special case hearing at Lincolnshire Police Headquarters was told that PC Garrard-Kendal had an issue concerning the will of his recently deceased father.

The officer went on to access the force computer systems falsely claiming he was obtaining details of vehicles that had been sighted in Lincolnshire.

Gemma Webster, for Lincolnshire Police, said that an initial complaint was made about the officer in June 2018 to Lincolnshire Police’s anti-corruption unit.

Avon & Somerset Police investigated Garrard-Kendal over accusations of fraud by false representation, theft and unauthorised access of a computer system. He was arrested in November 2018 and suspended from duty although no further action was taken on those matters.

During a search of Garrard-Kendal’s home officers discovered a number of pieces of paper containing details of the names, dates of birth, addresses, vehicles and insurance relating to the illegal computer checks he carried out on vehicles. He later resigned from the force.

Mrs Webster said “These related to vehicles of attendees at PC Garrard-Kendal’s late father’s funeral.

“He carried out the checks claiming the vehicles were either stopped or sighted in Lincolnshire.

“Inquiries were made of these individuals. None had supplied details to PC Garrard-Kendal and none were in Lincolnshire at the time the checks were made.

“In April he was interviewed. He admitted obtaining the vehicle index numbers at the funeral of his late father and admitted abusing police regulations by carrying out the checks.”

He was later charged with illegal use of the computer system and in September this year pleaded guilty at Mansfield Magistrates Court to seven breaches of the Data Protection Act.

Mrs Webster said “The deliberate misuse of police systems for personal purposes is undoubtedly an abuse of the officer’s position.”

Garrard-Kendal did not attend the hearing but through his Police Federation representative he admitted that between 18 May 2018 and 13 September 2019 he misused Lincolnshire Police systems for inappropriate purposes putting him in breach of professional standards of behavior relating to honesty and integrity; discreditable conduct; orders and instructions; and confidentiality. He submitted no mitigation.

Lincolnshire chief Constable Bill Skelly found that Garrard-Kendal’s behaviour amounted to gross misconduct and ruled that he would have been dismissed from the force had he not resigned.

The decision means he is placed on a barring list preventing him from reapplying to become a police officer.

Mr Skelly said “The former officer would have been dismissed had he not resigned from the service.”