The ICO’s investigation found that Kent Police had no guidance or procedures in place to makes sure personal information was securely removed from former premises. The problem was made worse due to an apparent breakdown in communications between the various departments involved in the move.<
ICO 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, 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.”