Personal details of 1,230 crime victims and witnesses released in data breach

Norfolk and Suffolk police have announced a data breach has taken place regarding data contained in Freedom of Information (FOI) requests.

According to the force, a technical error has resulted in the personal details of 1,230 crime victims and witnesses between April 2021 and March 2022 being accidentally included in FOI requests.

The data was reportedly hidden from anyone opening the files, but should not have been included in the first place.

Included in the compromised data was information held on a specific police system which related to crime reports.

The data includes personal identifiable information on victims, witnesses, and suspects, as well as descriptions of offences. It related to a range of offences, including domestic incidents, sexual offences, assaults, thefts and hate crime.

‘We would like to apologise that this incident occurred, and we sincerely regret any concern that it may have caused the people of Norfolk and Suffolk,’ said Eamonn Bridger, Assistant Chief Constable of Suffolk Police, who is heading the investigation.

‘I would like to reassure the public that procedures for handling FOI requests made to Norfolk and Suffolk constabularies are subject to continuous review to ensure that all data under the constabularies’ control is properly protected.’

The data included personal identifiable information on victims, witnesses and suspects relating to a range of offences including sexual offences, domestic incidents, assaults, hate crime and thefts, according to the forces.

Victims of sexual offences should have lifelong anonymity under the law.

The forces said they have so far found ‘nothing’ to suggest that anyone outside policing has accessed the data.

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