A car insurer has cited the claims environment as a factor after a former employee was bribed to pass on customers' data. Tracey Miller, 42, from Oldham, was handed a suspended two-year prison sentence and a £4,500 compensation order for bribery offences after she made that amount through the sale of confidential details.

Miller had stolen customer information from her employer Aviva’s third party care team database in order to sell it.

She told officers she was first approached by a man she did not know when leaving work in 2013. She then supplied the man with data between May to August 2013 and received £4,500 worth in payments.

In December 2013, Miller took voluntary redundancy from Aviva, and two months later the firm provided information to help an investigation by the Insurance Fraud Enforcement Department.

When officers discovered a hard drive following an arrest warrant in November 2015, Aviva’s investigation manager identified that 2.5% of the recovered data was its own, and further enquiries showed Miller was the sole person who had accessed that data.

She admitted she had sent the man data and received money for doing so: she was sentenced on 30 June at Burnley Crown Court.

Speaking after the conviction, a spokesperson for Aviva suggested the money that can be made from personal claims was a factor in the case: 'Until the financial incentives at the heart of the injury claims process are removed, consumers and their insurers will continue to be targets for those who seek to profit from accident claims.’

City of London Police’s detective sergeant Matt Hussey said the firm and its investigations team had worked together to ensure Miller was brought to justice.

He added: ‘Miller abused her position of trust within her organisation and instead of doing the right thing and alerting her employer about being approached by a fraudster, she instead greedily decided to set-up a deal with him.’