Thames Valley Police reprimanded over breach that forced witness to move

02/06/2023 | ICO

The Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) has issued a formal reprimand to Thames Valley Police (TVP) after it failed to take appropriate measures to safeguard the identity and location of a witness. The case concerned a TVP officer who responded to a housing authority request for information without redacting important contextual information. As a result, suspected criminals learned their home address and was consequently forced to move house. The witness continues to be under significant levels of risk. 

The ICO recommended all staff responsible for redactions and disclosure be trained in data protection, along with instructions to share policy updates as soon as they are available. TVP should also conduct regular reviews of its policies and guidance on the handling of personal data. 

In its Twitter post, the ICO signalled the "case should act as a warning to other organisations," while highlighting the "importance of policies and procedures and ensuring that your staff understand their responsibilities under data protection law."

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Thames Valley Police

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