Banbury police officer fired without notice


A Banbury police officer who admitted breaching the Data Protection Act and computer misuse was fired today after a misconduct hearing.

PC Matthew Oaten, who was based at Banbury police station was today (Tuesday) dismissed without notice after a special case hearing before Chief Constable Francis Habgood.

PC Oaten was found to have breached the Standards of Professional Behaviour in respect of ‘Discreditable Conduct’ and ‘Confidentially’.

The offences took place between February and May 2015 when PC Oaten accessed police logs for which there was no legitimate policing purpose. He also sent sensitive police information via email to someone who did not work for Thames Valley Police between February 10, 2013 and August 2, 2013.

PC Oaten appeared at Winchester Crown court on June 13 after he admitted three counts of computer misuse and two counts of breaching the Data Protection Act. He was sentenced to 150 hours community service and ordered to pay £1000 costs.

Detective Chief Inspector Matt Stone of Thames Valley Police Professional Standards Department said: “Our staff are expected to manage information in accordance with legislation and our policies, and adherence to these are vital to maintain public confidence and trust.”

“PC Oaten betrayed that trust by accessing data for a non-policing purpose on a number of occasions. Following an investigation by the Professional Standards Department, these breaches were so severe that the CPS brought criminal proceedings leading to his conviction at Winchester Crown Court and subsequent dismissal from Thames Valley Police.”

“The overwhelming majority of our staff recognise the legal and ethical expectations of managing information we are entrusted with and I hope that today’s outcome reinforces the seriousness in which we view this responsibility.”