A police officer “stole” details of road crash victims from the police computer system in order to refer them to accident claim solicitors in a £26,000 “criminal enterprise”, a jury heard today.
Pc Sugra Hanif would allegedly note down personal information of people involved in car crashes, before “pressuring” them to make accident claims to legal firms.
She, her co-accused married lover and his wife could then cash in on £700 referral fees.
The 27-year-old Thames Valley Police officer was having an affair with married Raza Khan during the eight-month scheme, which came to an end after an anonymous tip-off to police, the jury heard.
Prosecutors claim the scheme could have raked in “well over £1million” if every name allegedly stolen by Hanif had resulted in a referral.
Peter Asteris, prosecuting, told the jury at Winchester Crown Court that Khan set up a company called SR Auto Repairs, a month before the scheme began in April 2011, in order to refer “clients” to solicitors.
A further two similar firms were started in the name of Mr Khan’s wife Paramjeet Kaur, who was also charged.
Mr Asteris told the jury: “The data Pc Hanif took – information the Crown says she stole – was not data she needed to access.
“It was not data related to incidents in which she had been involved. It was just, the Crown says, to provide it to her lover – a man she was having an affair with – to promote his business interests.”
Mr Asteris said the scheme collapsed when police received a tip-off that Pc Hanif was misusing the police computer – sparking an internal police probe to look through audit records of the Unique Reference Numbers (URNs) Pc Hanif had downloaded.
Mr Asteris added: “The results of that inquiry show Pc Hanif, between April 1 and December 9, 2011, accessed a staggering 2,456 different URNs of different incidents on the computer. Almost all of them had no connection to her role as an officer. She was simply stealing almost 2,500 people’s data from that system.
“The Crown says her activity amounts to serious misuse of the police computer.”
The prosecution claimed Hanif, Khan and his wife Kaur benefitted in “the very least” to a financial gain of £26,400, the court was told.
Hanif, of Bretch Hill, Banbury, denies obtaining personal data from the Thames Valley Police control and command system, and a charge of disclosing the personal data.
Khan, of Ivy Road, Handsworth, Birmingham, denies obtaining information from the Thames Valley Police control and command system.
Kaur, also of Ivy Road, Handsworth, Khan and Hanif all deny one count of conspiracy to commit misconduct in a public office.
The case continues.