London police payroll data stolen

Laptops with sensitive data stolen from payroll and pensions firm.

In London, three laptops containing Metropolitan Police payroll details have been stolen from a private IT company that processes payroll and pensions. The burglary took place last week and was discovered by employees of the company, LogicaCMG. Approximately half of the Met Police's employees are thought to have been affected. The Met is in the process of notifying its employees of the theft, Silicon.com reports.

According to the Met, a risk assessment of the data on the laptops has been conducted and it believes staff face little risk of identity theft. The Metropolitan Police said in a statement: "We believe the risk of staff members falling victim to either fraudulent activity or identity theft is minimal."

The theft is sufficiently serious, however, that fraud prevention service Cifas, payment services organisation Apacs and credit reference agencies have been consulted about what action to take to safeguard staff against becoming victims of fraud. Logica also downplayed the security risk but refused to comment on whether security procedures were violated.

"We have taken immediate action to mitigate any further risk arising from this incident and are co-operating fully with the Metropolitan Police investigation.

"The risk of the data on the three laptops being used for either fraud or identity theft is minimal and every measure is being taken to protect those affected. We will provide further information as this becomes available."