DESPITE what you may have read elsewhere, the overwhelming majority of our police officers are dedicated, brave and scrupulously honest.

They have to be, to retain their credibility while doing a job that is challenging and at times downright dangerous.

So it is quite right that when one of their number abuses their position for personal gain, the law should come down on that individual with full force.

In the sordid case of the now former Thames Valley Pc Sugra Hanif, we are glad to say that has happened.

Her three-and-a-half-year sentence for passing on personal details from the police computer to her lover is no more than she deserved.

Hanif took cynical advantage of her access to the Police National Computer to break the law she was paid to uphold and, in doing so, she let down every copper in the country.

It runs deeper than that though because it is possible you, the taxpayer, may bear some of the cost with a fear the Information Commissioner’s Office may fine Thames Valley Police.

At the moment it is hard not to have sympathy with the force because, unless there is some systemic security weakness within the organisation yet to be revealed, it appears Hanif was a rogue employee.

Is it right for the force – ie the taxpayer – to face a bill because of this rotten apple?