Feeds

Kent Police fined £100k for leaving interview vids of informants in old cop shop

Crimewatch Uncut screenings binned after cockup discovered

Security for virtualized datacentres

Kent Police have been fined £100,000 after interview tapes and other confidential information were found abandoned at a former police station.

The highly sensitive information, including records going back to the 1980s, was left in the basement of a former police station when it was vacated in July 2009.

The cock-up was discovered when a police officer was visiting a business owner about an unrelated matter on November 2012, when he noticed a pile of tapes with a Kent Police logo stuck on them.

"The business owner confirmed that he had found the tapes in the basement of the old police station, after purchasing the site two months before, and was planning on watching them for entertainment," a statement by data privacy watchdogs at the ICO explains.

Hundreds of additional documents and evidence tapes were recovered the following day when police visited. The information trove included recorded interviews with police informants, victims of crime and suspects who had subsequently been convicted. The documents also included information about police staff.

A subsequent ICO investigation faulted Kent Police for the absence of any guidance or procedures in place to make sure personal information was securely removed from former police premises. The problem was exacerbated as the result of an apparent breakdown in communications between the various departments involved in the move.

The ICO's head of enforcement, Stephen Eckersley, said: “If this information had fallen into the wrong hands the impact on people’s lives would have been enormous and damaging. These tapes and files included extremely sensitive and confidential information relating to individuals, many of whom had been involved in serious and violent crimes. How a police force could leave such information unattended in a basement for several years is difficult to understand.”

“Ultimately,” Eckersley continued, “this breach was a result of a clear lack of oversight, information governance and guidance from Kent Police which led to sensitive information being abandoned. It is only good fortune that the mistake was uncovered when it was and the information hasn’t fallen into the wrong hands.” ®

Bootnote

The ICO redacted the name of the cop shop at the heart of the matter in its ruling against the Kent plod [PDF, point 4 on page 2], although the watchdog wasn't able to immediately explain why. We hazard a guess that the ex-cop shop is in Gravesend, seeing as it was the only station closed by the force in 2009 in the county, according to a Freedom of Information reply [PDF, table on page 2]. Apparently, that building was turned into a restaurant.

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
NASTY SSL 3.0 vuln to be revealed soon – sources (Update: It's POODLE)
So nasty no one's even whispering until patch is out
Russian hackers exploit 'Sandworm' bug 'to spy on NATO, EU PCs'
Fix imminent from Microsoft for Vista, Server 2008, other stuff
Microsoft pulls another dodgy patch
Redmond makes a hash of hashing add-on
'LulzSec leader Aush0k' found to be naughty boy not worthy of jail
15 months home detention leaves egg on feds' faces as they grab for more power
Forget passwords, let's use SELFIES, says Obama's cyber tsar
Michael Daniel wants to kill passwords dead
FBI boss: We don't want a backdoor, we want the front door to phones
Claims it's what the Founding Fathers would have wanted – catching killers and pedos
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
Win a year’s supply of chocolate
There is no techie angle to this competition so we're not going to pretend there is, but everyone loves chocolate so who cares.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.