Officers on high alert after Met Police security breach

The Metropolitan Police’s 47,000 staff have been warned a third party company holding their names, ranks, photos, vetting levels and pay numbers had been hacked.

Officers were told to remain vigilant yesterday, as fears grew that organised crime gangs or terrorists could obtain the details. The National Crime Agency has also been alerted.

The company targeted by the hackers prints officer and staff passes.

READ MORE: Police told to investigate ‘every reasonable lead’ to drive down crime rates

Rick Prior, of the Metropolitan Police Federation, which represents the London force’s rank and file members, said the leak would cause “incredible concern and anger”.

He added: “This is a staggering security breach that should never have happened.

“Given the roles we ask our colleagues to undertake, significant safeguards and checks and balances should have been in place to protect this valuable personal information which, if in the wrong hands, could do incalculable damage.

“The men and women I represent are justifiably disgusted by this breach. We will be working with the force to mitigate the dangers and risks that this disclosure could have on our colleagues. And will be holding the Metropolitan Police to account for what has happened.”

He added: “Our brave police officers who give up so much to do this job deserve so much better.”

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Personal information such as addresses, phone numbers and financial details were not held by the company and not deemed at risk.

The breach comes weeks after the Police Service of Northern Ireland admitted it had mistakenly published personal information about their 10,000 staff.

Surnames and first initials of all police and civilian workers, their rank or grade, where they were based, and their unit was released in response to a Freedom of Information request.

In another FOI gaffe, Norfolk and Suffolk Police later said they mistakenly released information about more than 1,200 people, including victims and witnesses of crime.

The Met said: “We have been made aware of unauthorised access to the IT system of a Met supplier.

“The company had access to names, ranks, photos, vetting levels and pay numbers for officers and staff. The company did not hold personal information such as addresses, phone numbers or financial details.

“Security measures have been taken as a result of this report.

“We have reported the matter to the National Crime Agency. The Information Commissioner’s Office is also aware.”

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