Search

Blundering Camden Council gives witnesses details to man they complained about

PUBLISHED: 13:00 13 March 2014 | UPDATED: 17:11 13 March 2014

Camden Liberal Democrat leader Cllr Keith Moffitt.

Camden Liberal Democrat leader Cllr Keith Moffitt.

Archant

Camden Council’s legal team has been plunged into crisis after blundering staff accidentally gave the confidential details of alleged victims of anti-social behaviour to the person they complained about.

The council was desperately attempting to retrieve the documents this week, fearing the disclosure could threaten the safety of the five Camden residents affected. All had given evidence about one of their neighbours.

Officials forgot to blank out the details of the witnesses in a bundle of legal papers served to the man, against whom the council is seeking an anti-social behaviour order (Asbo).

The incident has sparked concerns that it will deter people from giving evidence in future for fear of falling victim to a similar data leak.

Cllr Keith Moffitt, leader of Camden’s Liberal Democrat opposition and the group’s crime spokesman, said: “It’s absolutely appalling, this sort of thing absolutely should not happen.

“When people are willing to give evidence confidentially, they need to be confident their identity isn’t going to be revealed and their personal safety should not be jeopardised.”

Cllr Moffitt added that this was a “big mistake” that the council must ensure never happens again.

“Redacting the names is pretty basic stuff, it’s not rocket science,” he added.

The council has yet to report itself to the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO), a government agency which can issue fines of up to £500,000 for serious breaches of data protection laws.

It has declined to give any further details or respond to questions about how the slip was allowed to happen or the reason for the Asbo application.

The blunder came to light at a public meeting at Camden Town Hall in Judd Street, King’s Cross, last Thursday, which saw residents grill top brass at Camden Police and the Mayor’s Office for Policing and Crime.

The Ham&High has decided not to name the housing estate in the south of the borough that was affected by the data breach, but one resident who lives there spoke at the meeting.

He said: “Can I please ask that this doesn’t happen in the near future and, second, that there is an inquiry or investigation into how it happened?

“This is also involving the Met and it needs a firm commitment. If people do put themselves forward to report crimes – drug dealing, gang fights and so on – at least they should have their details kept safe.”

Cllr Roger Robinson, a Labour councillor for St Pancras and Somers Town, said: “Disclosing this kind of information is wrong and should not be allowed. I’m glad the council is investigating it.”

0 comments

Latest Hampstead & Highgate News Stories

Yesterday, 12:18

The future of a family centre which is battling a lack of funding is closer to being secured after 127 children took part in a fun run.

Yesterday, 11:32

A mother-of-nine and her nephew became innocent victims of a “vendetta of violence” when they were shot dead in their own home in East Finchley, the Old Bailey has heard.

Yesterday, 11:20

The Whittington Hospital’s fertility centre is opening its own sperm bank and calling for men between 18 and 40 to donate.

Yesterday, 10:52

A man was subjected to a “disgraceful and prolonged” sexual assault on a busy Victoria Line train between Finsbury Park and King’s Cross.

Yesterday, 10:33

Fire crews tackled a blaze that tore through a three-storey terraced house in Kentish Town.

Yesterday, 10:19

Police are searching for a man after presents were stolen from a Primrose Hill home on Christmas Eve.

Yesterday, 07:00

The tragic death of nine-year-old chess champion Michael Uriely from an asthma attack is hearbreaking enough.

Mon, 14:09

The Alternative Clothes Show returned to Crouch End last Saturday, March 25, where students from City and Islington College joined local models to showcase a range of dazzling outfits crafted using recycled materials.

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Most read Hampstead & Highgate news

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Hampstead & Highgate Express
e-edition today

Subscribe

Education and Training

cover

Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now