Tucked away deep down in the story is this:
The married father-of-three… used the police computer intelligence systems to track down two of his victims so that he could pursue his sexual interest in them and again boasted that he found them 'by computer technology'.
In my debate earlier this month with Douglas Murray, I maintained that the safest way to ensure privacy and security from the state is not to build databases about us in the first place.
However, I of course accept that there has to be a computerised police system of some sort. Given that, and given that there are always going to be bad apples in any organisation, the question is how one deals with them. Douglas strongly maintained that severe punishment for those who abuse surveillance and database systems is vital, and that much of the fears about Big Brother Britain could and would be allayed if only people were properly punished for such abuse.
I was sceptical at the time (and hope I will be forgiven for remaining a little sceptical still) but I note that the judge openly stated that part of his motivation in passing a custodial sentence here was "to make an example" of this officer – quite right too, and I must say that this sentence is very good news.
By Alex Deane