Police gag ‘corruption’ Web site

Cybersquatting - a crime too far

Surrey Police served a High Court injunction against one of its own officers late on Friday night forcing him to remove a Web site that was set to expose alleged police corruption within the force.

The injunction was served just hours after The Register ran the story behind surreypolice.com.

Inspector Andy Catlin is currently on sick leave but used to serve in Surrey Police's Technical Firearms Unit.

He claims the site is "not employed to undermine the excellent work of the majority of our colleagues who perform a difficult and often dangerous job in protecting the public from lawlessness."

However, this was not enough to prevent a High Court injunction being served at his home late Friday night forcing Catlin to withdraw his site.

The injunction effectively accused Catlin of cybersquatting.

Defending its decision to take legal action, Surrey Police said: "It could be misunderstood as being an official Surrey Police site. We respect the right of an individual to publish material on the Internet but this should be published using an address which is not likely to mislead."

Catlin told Reg that he had to proceed with caution: "Because of the injunction I have decided not to name and shame now, but I will when the time is right."

He is currently seeking legal advice and will concentrate his activities on another of his sites, policecorruption.co.uk. ®

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