A RETIRED officer who served with North Yorkshire Police for 30 years has been accused of misconduct. 

Mark Thompson, who retired from the force last year, is accused of gross misconduct for accessing his brother and father's details on the police's NICHE records management system in February 2014 and January 2015.

He appeared before a hearing at the North Yorkshire Police headquarters in Northallerton on Monday and said that genuine policing reasons motivated the records searches.

Mr Thompson, who latterly served as a Thirsk-based traffic constable, said he was concerned that his brother was frequently drink-driving and he wanted to uncover 'actionable' information from the police system so that he could be further investigated.

Mr Thompson said that his brother had told him himself that he was drink-driving and he wanted to find out which cars were registered to him and where he lived so that he could be targeted as a potential law breaker.

During the course of researching his brother, Mr Thompson also accessed his father's records.

He said he did this to see if there were any details of his father filing a drink-driving allegation against him.

Mr Thompson said that although he held long-term suspicions about his brother's drink driving, he only decided to look him up in 2014 after a sergeant asked for some background information about him.

He again looked him up in 2015 because he was being seconded to Harrogate for three months - an area he knew his brother lived in.

Under questioning by solicitor Briony Ballard, it was suggested to Mr Thompson that he had accessed his brother's details out of simple curiosity, something that the former officer denied.

He added: "I didn't have a vendetta against him, but I had reason to believe that he was drink driving and it could be actionable if I had information to pass to somebody."

Ms Ballard said Mr Thompson should have known that he should not be investigating a family member and said the pattern of his searches did not reflect someone who was simply trying to find a vehicle and an address.

She also said that if his concerns were genuine, he should have raised them with his colleagues.

The hearing continues.