Approximately 69 cases, spanning over a period of almost three years, have been identified as potentially affected by a loss of data on South Yorkshire Police’s systems.
The lost data includes footage filmed by officers between July 2020 and May 2023 as they attended an incident or engaged with the public, according to a South Yorkshire Police statement.
In some cases, footage can be used as evidence in both criminal and civil proceedings.
The reduction in data stored on police systems was “significant and unexplained,” “urgent work, led by digital forensic experts, is underway to recover the data.”
The police referred itself to the Information Commissioner's Office and is working closely with the victims and the Crown Prosecution Service.
Assistant Chief Constable Rick Alton in a statement said he is “deeply sorry this has occurred.”
“We’ve had a team of people working around the clock to manually check each case currently within the criminal justice system. We’ve brought in digital forensics specialists to explore how this data loss occurred and to establish if the data can be recovered. We will provide an update concerning this when further work has been undertaken,” Alton said.
Whilst remaining hopeful, he gave no guarantees for successful data recovery, so “it’s important that the victims and the wider public are informed.”
This is not the first data-related accident affecting UK police this month. As reported by the Independent, the Police Service of Northern Ireland admitted that personal data on all its serving members was mistakenly published in response to a freedom of information (FOI) request. And Norfolk and Suffolk Police announced that more than 1,000 people's personal data was included in another response.
More from Cybernews
Subscribe to our newsletter