Former Humberside officer sentenced for sharing confidential police intelligence

Published: 10 Jun 2022

A former Humberside Police officer has been sentenced to six months imprisonment suspended for two years and 200 hours community service for misconduct in public office following an investigation managed by the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) and conducted by Humberside Police.

PC Kate Elston, who was based in Grimsby, passed information and intelligence to a member of the public during the course of her duties between February 2019 and September 2020.

Records show that PC Elston was on duty during that period and had access to confidential police information and intelligence, which she subsequently shared without any policing purpose.

In August 2020 she sent an image of her computer terminal showing a confidential briefing sheet via WhatsApp to a member of the public.

In addition, evidence identified there were further occasions whereby PC Elston supplied confidential police information to the same member of the public, which included emails and images related to crimes she and other officers had attended.

The investigation started in September 2020, following a referral from the force, and concluded in July 2021. PC Elston was arrested at Grimsby Police Station on 5 October 2020 for corrupt or other improper exercise of police powers and privileges.

On conclusion of the investigation, we agreed with the force that the case should be referred to the Crown Prosecution Service, who authorised a charge of misconduct in public office in December 2021.

IOPC Director of Major Investigations Steve Noonan said: “Disclosing confidential information without reasonable excuse or justification can significantly damage the trust and confidence that members of the public place in the police.

“Elston’s behaviour was audacious, corrupt and criminal. Her actions were a complete betrayal of the public’s trust and have no place in policing.

“The evidence we have seen points towards this being an isolated case of police corruption but the outcome sends a clear message to any officer who conducts themselves in such a way – they face serious consequences and will be held to account.”

“Forces have a key role to play in tackling issues like this and I would like to thank the team at Humberside Police for their professionalism and thorough investigation that has ultimately led to the sentencing today.”

During the investigation PC Elston was subject to an accelerated misconduct process but she resigned before the hearing. It found that she would have been dismissed without notice had she not done so.

  • Humberside Police