Metropolitan Police loses 2,280 electronic devices

The Metropolitan Police is facing calls for a formal investigation after it admitted to losing 2,280 electronic devices over the past two years.

The data, obtained from the force by litigation practice Griffin Law using Freedom of Information (FOI) legislation, revealed the extent of losses and thefts of police laptops, tablets and mobile phones in both 2019 and 2020.

Across the two years, tablets were the most commonly misplaced device, with a total of 1,620 going missing - 1,561 were lost and 59 were stolen.

Additionally, 392 mobile phones and 268 laptops went missing, with the vast majority being lost, not stolen.

Donal Blaney, founder at Griffin Law, said: “The home secretary and the information commissioner need to investigate this catastrophic loss of data urgently.

“Who knows what was on these devices and who now has them? The very criminals under investigation by the police?"

Torsten George, cyber security evangelist at Absolute Software, said of the thefts: “Large organisations like the Met will inevitably experience device losses, particularly with officers engaged in complex operations in the fight against crime.

“To mitigate their risk of exposure they need to deploy technology that allows them to scan endpoints for sensitive data, easily remove data remotely as well as geolocate and lock lost or stolen devices.”

It is not known whether the London force has been able to lock or remotely wipe data from the lost devices.

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