Cadets-in-training increasingly leaking police info
The misbehavior of police cadets in training is getting more serious. In recent years, students have increasingly leaked information or used information from police systems for private purposes. The police reported this after an investigation by the Security, Integrity, and Complaints Department (VIK), commissioned by the police force management.
The force management decided to investigate after signals from police academy teachers and trade unions about an increase in "deviant behavior" by police cadets. The police now conclude that this is not the case. Although the number of internal investigations into police cadets increased from 18 in 2016 to 38 in 2020, the number of students also increased from 2,300 to 4,000 in the same period. "The number of investigations into students appears to be stable: around 1 percent of the population," the police said.
The fact that the misbehavior of cadets who do make a mistake is becoming more serious is due to the low-threshold access to police data via the MEOS application on their service telephone. In many cases, this creates temptation, according to the researchers.
The police said it recently took preventive measures to prevent the misuse of police information. For example, cadets in training only gain access to information systems later in their education. Practice databases were also created so that students do not have to use actual data.
According to the sector head of the VIK department, Lonneke Soudant, the most significant gains can be made through awareness. "The research shows that some of the police students do not sufficiently realize what it means to work for the police. Searching and sharing information is subject to strict rules. And you cannot just share everything with colleagues or friends."
Reporting by ANP