Confidential data held by Hertfordshire Constabulary published on Home Office website

A bike marking event is taking place in Letchworth on Tuesday.

A bike marking event is taking place in Letchworth on Tuesday. - Credit: Archant

Confidential data held by Hertfordshire Constabulary about antisocial behaviour cases has been published on a government website as a result of a computer error.

The force has notified the Information Commissioner’s Office about the security breach, discovered yesterday on Hertfordshire’s ‘local priorities’ pages of the Home Office website www.police.uk.

A risk assessment identified 61 cases where individuals’ names and addresses had appeared on the website for a period of five days before a Hertfordshire police officer noticed them.

There have been no reports that the data was seen by any member of the public or staff from the community safety partner agencies, although individuals affected will be informed.

Police say the breach was the result of an ‘upload error’ from a system managed by an external service provider.


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Superintendent Andrew McCracken, head of crime reduction and community safety, said: “The constabulary takes the handling of data on its systems extremely seriously and we very much regret that the data breach occurred. Fortunately, the pages where the information appeared were accessed by very few people and we are confident that any risk to people whose information appeared on the site has been minimised.

“In our role as data controller we have referred the case ourselves to the Information Commissioner’s Office. We have taken immediate mitigating action and continue to ensure that any individuals affected have a point of contact within the police to support them.

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“We believe that the information breach occurred as a result of a technical computer problem. A full investigation into how the breach happened is on-going and the affected webpages will remain suspended. The public can be confident that the details held on the system are now secure and confidential.”

The county’s police and crime commissioner David Lloyd said: “This breach is indeed a very serious matter and I am closely monitoring the constabulary’s response. I am satisfied they have done their utmost to limit any impact and to prevent further breaches, however, I have asked for a report on what went wrong and lessons to be learned to prevent a repeat.

“We have had great success in reducing antisocial behaviour in Hertfordshire over the last few years. Much of that can be put down to the highly effective partnership-working enabled by this case management computer system. It is vital that we get it right and that the public and partners can be confident in it. I am determined to make sure that continues to be the case.”

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