A huge data blunder by Norfolk and Suffolk police has resulted in more than 1,000 people having their personal details leaked. 

Norfolk and Suffolk police have said that descriptions of domestic incidents, sexual offences, assaults and hate crimes have been leaked. 

The data also includes personal identifiable information on victims, witnesses and suspects. 

The leak resulted from a technical issue which led to raw data belonging to the constabularies being included in files responding to Freedom of Information requests between April 2021 and March 2022. 

The data was hidden from anyone opening the files. 

Norfolk and Suffolk police have started the process of contacting individuals whose personal data was involved in the leak. 

A total of 1,230 people who have had their data breached.

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Assistant Chief Constable of Suffolk Police, Eamonn Bridger, said: “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.

“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 watchdog the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) is investigating.

Stephen Bonner, deputy commissioner at the ICO, said: “The potential impact of a breach like this reminds us that data protection is about people.

"It’s too soon to say what our investigation will find, but this breach – and all breaches – highlights just how important it is to have robust measures in place to protect personal information, especially when that data is so sensitive.

“We are currently investigating this breach and a separate breach reported to us in November 2022.

“In the meantime, we’ll continue to support organisations to get data protection right so that people can feel confident that their information is secure."

If members of the public are not contacted by the constabularies, they do not need to take any action.

A dedicated specialist team has been set up to handle any queries about this incident. They can be reached on 01603 276647 or email dataincident@suffolk.police.uk.