By Robert Winnett and Jon Swaine
August 22, 2008
Confidential information on almost 130,000 prisoners and dangerous
criminals has been lost by the Home Office, sparking yet another
Government data crisis.
The loss of the details, which were stored on an unencypted computer
memory stick, has raised fears that the taxpayer may now face a
multi-million pound compensation bill from criminals whose safety may
have been compromised and police informants who could be at risk of
The home addresses of some of Britain's most prolific and serious
offenders - including those who have committed violent and sexual crimes
- are understood to be among the missing data.
A full investigation is now underway to find the memory stick .
containing information on all 84,000 prisoners in England and Wales,
including some release dates, plus details of 43,000 most serious and
persistent offenders . which was descibed as a 'toxic liability' by
David Smith, the Deputy Information Commissioner.
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