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Last Updated: Wednesday, 26 December 2007, 14:52 GMT
Police data details found at dump
Armed police
Firearms qualifications were included on the disk
A senior police officer has apologised after confidential details of staff were found on a dump in Devon.

The details, on a floppy disk, included names, addresses, telephone numbers and ranks of employees of Devon and Cornwall Police.

The disk was in an obsolete computer that had been used by the force and had been sent for recycling.

Asst Ch Con Bob Pennington apologised to staff and said the matter was being investigated.

Recycling centre

"We take our responsibilities for protecting all information seriously and are extremely concerned as to how this single disk was not removed before the machine was taken out of use," he said.

"Recycling old computers was a conscious decision taken by the force as part of an overall cost cutting exercise and hard drives are always wiped clean but it appears that on this occasion the floppy disk has been overlooked."

Information stored on the disk also included firearms qualifications.

It was found by a man looking for spare computer parts at a recycling centre in Exeter, who alerted a national newspaper.

It follows the loss of details for millions of hospital patients, learner drivers and child benefit claimants.



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