Sharon Toombs, an emergency call handler spied on people using police database

A Derbyshire police call handler could face jail after admitting illegally accessing confidential information about people on the force’s national database.

Sharon Toombs pleaded guilty to one count containing 26 allegations she committed the acts when she appeared at Derby Crown Court.

The 48-year-old’s charge spans a two-year period between October 1, 2018 and October 31, 2020, during which time she worked in contact management at the force’s HQ in Ripley.

The constabulary has confirmed Toombs, also known as Sharon Bagshaw, resigned from her role before any disciplinary action could be taken against her.

In a statement, it said: “This member of police staff had been suspended following allegations that she had breached data protection law and had committed misconduct in a public office.

“She resigned from the force shortly before a disciplinary hearing was held on June 22.

“At this hearing, the evidence was heard and it was decided that had she still been a serving member of the organisation, she would have been dismissed for gross misconduct.

“As this case shows, the force takes data protection seriously and all officers and staff and regularly undertake mandatory training to ensure they are aware of their responsibilities.”

Toombs, of Devonshire Avenue, Matlock, pleaded guilty to one count of misconduct in public office by using her role in contact management to wilfully accessing confidential data and/or disclosing it to others.

She denied a second charge of knowingly obtaining personal data.

Richard Gibbs, prosecuting, said: “The Crown are content with that position, there are a total of 26 allegations which are accepted.”

No further details of precisely what Toombs did were revealed during the short hearing.

Adjourning the case and handing the defendant bail, Judge Nirmal Shant QC, Honorary Recorder of Derby, said: “This passes the custodial threshold by a long chalk.”

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