Misuse of police information systems: Predicting perceived likelihood of misuse among unsworn police employees

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Title

Policing (Oxford): a journal of policy and practice


Oxford Academic


School of Arts and Humanities / Sellenger Centre




Rajakaruna, N., Henry, P. J., & Scott, A. J. (2019). Misuse of Police Information Systems: Predicting Perceived Likelihood of Misuse among Unsworn Police Employees. Policing: A Journal of Policy and Practice, Article no. paz034. https://doi.org/10.1093/police/paz034


Police information systems (ISs) contain highly sensitive data. Misuse of these systems poses a significant risk to agency integrity and personal privacy. In order to prevent this form of misconduct, police agencies must implement strategies that address factors associated with employee misuse. The aim of this research was to determine factors associated with the perceived likelihood of engaging in IS misuse among a sample of employees from an Australian police agency. Two hundred and eighty-seven unsworn police staff completed an online survey that investigated a number of factors, shown in previous research, to be relevant to IS misuse. Findings demonstrated that access to the IS, perceived appropriateness of and concern regarding IS misuse, and perceived certainty of punishment were relevant in explaining the perceived likelihood of IS misuse. Implications are discussed in relation to the focus of agency prevention strategies and the need for future research in the area.



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