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Suffolk Constabulary are continuing to investigate a data breach which saw an Excel document with details of sexual offences and offences that occurred in schools published on their website. The information was discovered by a member of the public on the evening of November 7.
The data was in an Excel document on the Suffolk Constabulary website and included inquiries into sexual offences and offences that occurred in schools which were reported between April 1, 2015 and March 31, 2019. No information outside of these dates was disclosed.
Police said the document was removed from the public domain as soon as officers were alerted. It has now been established that around two to three per cent of the published investigations included information which could lead to someone being identified.
READ MORE: Latest crime headlines across Suffolk
In most cases, no personal data was present. Officers are continuing to assess the data breach and are contacting those affected to offer support, reassurance and offer an apology.
The Excel document was found in a reply to a Freedom of Information (FOI) request and Suffolk Constabulary are trying to establish how many people viewed the information. No other reports have been made to Suffolk Constabulary since this document was first published in 2019.
All other FOI replies have also been removed from their website and they say "we are now confident that there have been no other information breaches of this nature". The breach has been referred to the information Commissioner's Office.
Police 'extremely sorry'
Assistant Chief Constable Eamonn Bridger said: “Suffolk Constabulary is extremely sorry for the data breach and the anxiety this unintentional disclosure of personal information will have caused. We recognise and sincerely regret the additional concern this incident will have caused for victims of crime that we are duty-bound to protect.
“We have now fully removed the document from public circulation and will continue to proactively seek to minimise any risk that the release of this data may have had. We are committed to making sure we do everything we can to avoid a similar incident happening in the future and have already implemented changes that will ensure these circumstances do not happen again.”
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