A Buglar has stolen bank account details of more than 15,000 Scotland
Yard officers following a huge security blunder, it emerged last night.
Sensitive financial information about high-ranking officers, thought to
include Metropolitan Police Commissioner Sir Ian Blair, and
anti-terrorist detectives were stored on three laptops stolen from the
company responsible for the force's pay and pensions services.
Last night, a major security review was under way at Britain's biggest
force amid fears the thief could steal vast sums of money from officers'
It is also feared the computer files - which includes National Insurance
numbers - could be used by criminal gangs to create false identities.
The break-in, at the offices of software group LogicaCMG in Peckham,
South-East London, is a huge embarrassment to Scotland Yard.
A senior Yard source said: "Heads should roll over this. At a time of
unprecedented concerns over security, it is scandalous that a thief can
steal such sensitive information."
Detectives are trying to establish whether the thief had deliberately
targeted the offices.
The offices in Southwark Street, Peckham, are thought to have been
fitted with state-of-the-art security because of the company's sensitive
work for the Met.
Officers are trying to establish whether it was working properly when
the thief - or thieves - broke in.
Sir Ian Blair is said to be 'furious' about the security breach and has
demanded a report on the circumstances of the burglary.
Richard Barnes, a member of the Metropolitan Police Authority, said last
night: "The security implications of this are terrifying.
"The potential for identity cloning is vast. I am absolutely horrified
that this company did not have better security."
Sources told the Mail that the payroll details of at least half of the
Met's 30,000 police officers were on the stolen laptops.
It is thought that sensitive information about several thousand civilian
staff were also on the computers, which have not been recovered.
LogicaCMG and its pension administrator partner Paymaster has a
31million seven-year contract to provide a payroll and pensions
administration service for the Met's 46,000 officers and civilian staff.
The contract was awarded last year.
Sources said the laptops did not contain home addresses or telephone
numbers of staff, and there is no suggestion that terrorists were
responsible for the raid.
A Scotland Yard spokesman said the burglary happened last Thursday
night. It was discovered by a member of staff arriving for workingon
Friday morning. She added: "We are in the process of informing Met staff
of the theft. A risk assessment of the data on the laptops has been
"We believe the risk of staff members falling victim to either
fraudulent activity or identity theft is minimal."
She said LogicaCMG has offered the commissioner an unreserved apology. A
man was arrested on suspicion of burglary at 10.15pm on Friday. He was
taken to a South London police station and interviewed. He was later
bailed to return to a police station, pending further inquiries.
Louise Fisk, a spokesman for LogicaCMG, which is a major international
force in IT services, confirmed that there had been a break-in at one of
"We have taken immediate action to mitigate any further risk arising
from this incident and are cooperating fully with the Metropolitan
Police investigation," she added.
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