Laptop with personal data of 24,000 people is stolen

More than 24,000 people in Hull and Leicester have had information about them stolen, it has been revealed.

Training company A4e said the data was held on a personal computer of an employee which was stolen in "an opportunistic domestic burglary".

A4e said the laptop, that was taken on 19 June in London, did not contain banking or credit information.

The company is examining how its data security procedures were breached so it can ensure it does not occur again.

A4e delivers public services across a range of sectors, including employment and welfare, training and education and debt and legal advice.

The stolen laptop contained names, postcodes, dates of birth and any possible awards made by a court.

The company has written to 24,269 clients in Hull and Leicester informing them that the data had been stolen. They have been advised that the risk of illegal use is "low".

The data relates to customers of two Community Legal Advice Centres (CLACs) operated by A4e in Hull and Leicester.

The company has set up a free-of-charge helpline for people potentially affected.

It said the Information Commissioner had been informed and the police investigation into the burglary was continuing.

Bob Martin, group chief executive of A4e, said: "We sincerely apologise to all those affected by this incident. It should not have happened.

"While we are advised that the risk to clients is low we are taking every precaution to ensure their interests are protected."

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