A memory stick containing information on hundreds of police investigations has been lost in Edinburgh.


The search begun on 26th February after the memory stick was believed to have been lost around Christmas at Lothian and Borders Police's headquarters. The stick contains 750 entries on vehicles ‘of interest' to police, along with other intelligence.


It is understood the information on the stick was not encrypted as it was being transferred within a secure compound inside the force's headquarters in the Fettes area of the city. Despite this, Police have said that its loss did not compromise anyone involved in any ongoing or previous police investigations.


A police spokesman said: “Lothian and Borders Police can confirm that it is unable to locate a USB memory stick. We are taking this loss very seriously and have commissioned a review into how we hold and transport information within the organisation.


“The reality of modern day policing is such that we exploit the latest technology. However, like every other large organisation, we have a responsibility to safeguard the information we hold.


“We are confident that this loss does not in any way compromise any individual involved in any ongoing or previous police investigations.”


Jason Holloway, regional sales manager Northern Europe for SanDisk commented:  “It's believed the data was unencrypted as the device was being moved within a secured area. But this shows why data on USB drives must be encrypted at all times – because they get misplaced, or easily removed from those secured areas. 


“Guidelines and policies don't stop devices being lost or taken.  The only way to protect data is to use mandatory encryption whenever it is moved or copied, and to ensure that users can't turn off, disable or work around that protection.”