Chief Inspector Jess Aston responsible for data breach costing the force £7,000 in compensation

Chief Inspector Jess Aston responsible for data breach costing the force £7,000 in compensation

A recent article has been published on main stream media, highlighting how Avon & Somerset Police used hate crime footage without consent from the victim.

We have been contacted directly by the the victim (referred to as ‘Miss A’) who has provided us with some unpublished & disturbing facts, some verified by her solicitors Hayes Connor.

Chief Inspector Jess Aston
Chief Inspector Jess Aston

Chief Inspector Jess Aston
The officer responsible for this data breach was Chief Inspector Jess Aston.

The circumstances of the data are that in October 2019, police officers from Avon & Somerset Constabulary visited Miss A’s home where she was in crisis after being the victim of a hate crime, the incident was recorded on police Body Worn Video (BWV).

Miss A is autistic, as well as having ADHD and Tic Disorder. This has resulted in her frequently being a target of abusive behaviour from her neighbours and others.

Avon & Somerset Constabulary unlawfully disclosed this incident to Miss A’s manager at work, which caused significant distress to Miss A.

Miss A made a formal complaint to the police but, as would seem commonplace, the response received from the Police Professional Standards Department, suggested the matter was not being taken seriously.

Miss A discovered that this the BWV recording of the distressful incident was used by Avon & Somerset Constabulary, without her knowledge or permission. The footage was not pixelated and was a significant data breach.

Miss A was asked to give her consent to it being used in this way and said that she wanted to see the footage first and would want any identifying features removed.

Who cares attitude by Chief Inspector Jess Aston

A senior officer, Chief Inspector Jess Aston, decided to show the footage anyway, in the knowledge that Miss A had not provide consent. The footage was shown to as many as 70 police officers.

Miss A has asked for the BWV to be destroyed, but so far, Avon & Somerset Constabulary have refused to destroy it.

Chief Inspector Jess Aston states on her public LinkedIn profile,

I thoroughly enjoy working with people including children and building trust, often in exceedingly difficult circumstances.

Well, it appears that Chief Inspector Jess Aston has failed miserably to ‘build trust’ it what was extremely difficult circumstances.

She is also quoted on this article as saying;

As your local commander my priority is keeping you all safe and protecting the vulnerable. This is our focus every day when we come into work. But we need your help.

Please keep in contact with Pete and the team and report matters of concern that come to your attention. Please don’t assume that we know about something and if we do your

information will help us gain a better understanding of the matter — you will never be wasting our time.

This seems rather contradictory to an email, accidentally sent to Miss A after she sent an email to Chief Inspector Jess Aston seeking police assistance.

It the email below, you can see the response from Chief Inspector Jess Aston, (blunderingly copying in the victim), telling all police officers that Miss A is not a victim of crime, but also telling them her email address is being blocked.

Is this how CI Jess Aston ‘keeps vulnerable people safe’ and how she ‘builds trust’?

Furthermore, we have seen evidence that Chief Inspector Jessica Aston has a previously upheld complaint against her.

Inspector Aston has a previously upheld complaint relating to a failure to arrange proper medical care for a person in custody with mental health ang physical concerns. It was however concluded this was a case of administrative confusion and did not represent discrimination.

CI Jessica Aston and Avon & Somerset Constabulary are invited to give their comments as a Right of Reply.