Ministry of Justice, Home Office and Metropolitan Police lose almost 200 laptops and smartphones in two years

Almost two hundred laptops have been lost by Britain's key law enforcement organisations in the past two years.

According to figures released to F-Secure under the Freedom of Information Act, 165 smartphones and mobile devices also vanished along with 189 laptops. Among those losing devices was the Ministry of Justice, who said that 13 of the missing laptops were lost in a fire and 43 of the BlackBerrys had not been activated.

The Metropolitan Police lost a further 11 laptops, 12 BlackBerry devices and five other mobiles. The Home Office and Ministry of Justice said no members of staff were disciplined for any of the losses and the police said the information about any disciplinary cases was not held centrally.

Tom Gaffney, security advisor at F-Secure UK said: “If just one of these devices fell into the wrong hands it has the potential to do huge damage to this country's crime-fighting ability.
 
“The Ministry of Justice, the Home Office and its agencies and the Metropolitan Police, as the country's leading force, are all dealing with highly sensitive information. At the forefront of the battle to protect us from criminals, these organisations should be far savvier in how they protect the technology containing such vital information.

"Currently, there seems to be a slapdash approach to the storage and protection of data by the very people tasked with defending us from criminals and terrorists.”

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