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Boys in blue caught breaking IT rules

Transgressions mainly related to smut and snooping

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Over 400 police officers and support staff were caught and disciplined for misuse of IT systems last year.

The real figure could be higher because some forces declined to provide information.

Apart from using work computers to access Facebook and smut sites, some officers and civilian workers were disciplined for inappropriate use of the police national computer.

In total 439 people were disciplined, according to documents obtained under the Freedom of Information Act by the Daily Mail.

South Yorkshire fared worst - 53 staff were disciplined, including three caught accessing police systems "without a legitimate police purpose".

Some 47 forces provided information and on average each admitted to nine staff punished.

The Police Federation said it was surprised the figures were so high and suggested forces should be doing more to inform staff of what the rules were. ®

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