Suffolk Police launch investigation after sex abuse victims' details appear online

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Suffolk Rape Crisis warned that any leak could put victims at risk. Credit: Library picture

An investigation has been launched after a police force accidentally published personal details about victims of sexual abuse on its website.

The information published on Suffolk Constabulary's site is believed to have contained names and addresses of victims of sexual assault and details of the alleged sexual offences committed against them.

The breach is also believed to have included details relating to the suspects, according to the East Anglian Daily Times, which first reported the story.

Suffolk Police said the data was quickly removed when the security breach was discovered.

A force spokesman told ITV News Anglia: "Suffolk Police were made aware that some personal information, which should not have been uploaded, could be accessed via the constabulary website.

"This matter was quickly resolved and the information can no longer be accessed.

"An investigation is now taking place into how this error occurred.

“The Information Commissioner’s Office has been notified of this incident. We take our obligations under the Data Protection Act very seriously.”

Suffolk Rape Crisis warned that such a leak could put survivors of sexual assault at risk.

"Survivors of sexual violence who have reported to the police are entitled to lifetime anonymity – here at SRC we would have significant concerns if this right was violated," the charity said.

"Survivors have a right to safety and security, and if perpetrators were to have access to women’s addresses and contact details this would be a considerable safety risk and could put women at threat of further violence.

"We know that women should have control and ownership over to who they share their story, and a data leak would remove this choice."

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