Met worker cleared of wrongdoing after accessing crime logs 'out of curiosity'

Charlotte Servais (Supplied)
Charlotte Servais (Supplied)

A Met Police 999 call operator who looked up confidential reports of a fatal stabbing “out of curiosity” has been cleared of criminal wrongdoing.

Charlotte Servais, 33, accessed a series of Computer Aided Dispatch (CAD) logs after 42-year-old Ralph Gibson was attacked in Huntingfield Road in Putney in April 2020.

The stabbing happened close to her mother’s home and Servais’ own brother was later arrested in connection with the stabbing, but did not face any criminal charges.

Servais, who was based at the Met’s base in Hendon, told Southwark crown court she did not realise looking up CADs “out of curiosity” was not allowed.

“Everyone does it”, she insisted, talking of a “culture” within her team of accessing the system without a proper policing purpose.

“I wasn’t aware the access was unauthorised until all this situation”, she said.

“It doesn’t make it right, but everybody does it.”

Servais, a Met special constable since 2011 who joined the 999 call operation in 2013, says she heard about the stabbing while visiting her mother’s home, and looked up the CADs when she returned to work the following day.

She told jurors she had received training and understood that Police National Computer (PNC) records should not be accessed without a proper policing purpose.

But she did not realise this also applied to CADs until October 2020, when she was first accused of wrongdoing.

Servais, who lives in Stevenage, denied performing an unauthorised computer function between April 16 and 22, 2020.

She admitted during the trial that she had logged on and looked at 12 CADs between those dates, after hearing about the stabbing.

A jury found her not guilty at the end of a three-day trial.