Police officer’s notebook lost in latest RUC/PSNI data breach

A PSNI officer’s name and notes of live criminal investigations are among the sensitive information contained in a lost notebook

A PSNI officer’s name and notes of live criminal investigations are among the sensitive information contained in a lost notebook.

The personal log also detailed of names and car registrations of republicans from west Belfast who had been `stopped and searched’ by the Paramilitary Crime Taskforce and the PSNI codenames for various crime force related operations.

It was lost in the first week of September during an operation into the activities of the breakaway South East Antrim UDA.

The notebook belonged to a female officer on the task force.

Police confirmed to the Irish News yesterday that the notebook was lost and that “enquiries have been conducted to identify any potential risk”.

Follow up searches have been carried out amid fears that loyalist paramilitary figures now have access to the notes, with information relating to the PSNI officer and private citizens.

A number of properties were searched with warrants stating the searches were in connection with `a police notebook’ and `unlawfully obtaining personal data’.

It is the second data breach linked to the PSNI this year, in July the Irish News reported that a pen drive containing information on private citizens and businesses was left in the back of a device returned to suspected loyalist paramilitaries.

The device had been removed as part of a police investigation into paramilitary activity and later returned with a pen drive that contained passwords and server addresses belonging to private citizens and companies.

The Police Ombudsman Office is still investigating the July data breach saying this week: “We are at an early stage in our enquiries and although to date we have found nothing to identify the police as the source of the information, we have a number of additional avenues to explore and people we would like to speak to.”

The Information Commissioner’s Office also said the July data breach was at “an extremely early stage in the process and our enquiries remain ongoing”.

The Paramilitary Crime Taskforce was launched in September 2017 and includes officers from the PSNI, the National Crime Agency and HM Revenue & Customs.

Plans to tackle paramilitary activity in Northern Ireland with a new task force were set out in the Fresh Start agreement almost two years ago.

In relation to the latest data breach Superintendent Brian Kee said: “PSNI can confirm that a police notebook was lost on September 3, 2018, possibly in the Ards area.

“Searches have been carried out and enquiries have been conducted to identify any potential risk. Investigations are ongoing.

“Police would ask anyone who has information or can assist in locating the notebook to contact them on 101.”

With many thanks to: The Irish News for the original story.

 

 

 

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16 September, 2018 01:00 NORTHERN IRELAND NEWS
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