Newham Council fined £145,000 over gangs list leak

Gang generic image Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption The Information Commissioner's Office fined the borough £145,000 for disclosing personal details of people on the list

A London council has been fined after a Met Police list containing names of suspected gang members ended up in the hands of rival gangs.

The unredacted list, which included addresses of 203 alleged gang members, was leaked after being emailed to others by a Newham Council worker.

Investigators said some on the list had been "victims of violence", but it was "not possible to say" if the attacks had been a result of the breach.

Newham Council has apologised.

The Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) fined the borough £145,000 for disclosing personal details of people on the list.

The database, set up in the wake of the 2011 London Riots, used intelligence including history of violent crime and information from bodies like local councils to identify possible gang members.

'Significant harm and distress'

In January 2017, the council worker sent a copy of the list in an email to 44 recipients including the council's Youth Offending Team and other external organisations.

It has not yet been revealed how, but rival gang members then managed to obtain photos of the list via Snapchat between May and September that year.

The ICO said the borough "experienced a number of incidents of serious gang violence" during 2017, although it could not conclude whether any of the attacks were caused by the breach.

"However, the ICO does highlight the significant harm and distress that can be caused when this type of sensitive personal information is not kept secure," it said.

Image copyright Met Police
Image caption The council has apologised to the mother of 14-year-old Corey Junior Davis who died in 2017

News about the leak emerged as part of a serious case review into the murder of 14-year-old Corey Junior Davis who was shot dead in a playground in Newham on 4 September 2017.

Newham Council said that following that review it had made changes "to ensure all data is protected" and apologised to Corey's mother "for the profoundly regretful data breach."

Mayor Rokhsana Fiaz, who took up the role in May 2018, said she "accepted the seriousness" of the breach and was "sorry that it happened".

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