Durkan: Immediate focus of PSNI must be the protection of staff

psni policing mark h durkan

SDLP Policing Board Member Mark H Durkan MLA has said that many questions remain unanswered following a monumental PSNI data breach which revealed the identities of thousands of staff.

Speaking following an emergency meeting of the Policing Board, Mark H Durkan MLA said:

“Today’s Board meeting is one step of the many that are needed to address the alarm caused by the data breach and to rebuild confidence in the PSNI.

“Some questions have been answered but many others remain unanswered or have not been addressed satisfactorily. In particular, while the Senior Management Team have outlined the systems they have in place to protect sensitive information and the human errors that led to this release, we have yet to hear why exactly this FOI request was answered within three working days of being submitted. I have never seen as quick a response from any agency to any FOI request, never mind one that has the potential to make public very sensitive information.

“The release of personal data is so huge and so hugely damaging that there must accountability both organisationally and individually. As further details emerge a judgment can be made about where individual accountability rests. In doing so the SDLP is ruling nothing out.

“The pressing issue now is the safety of officers, staff and their families. The unimaginable stress of these families is compounded by a claim from a paramilitary organisation that they have access to the leaked information. At this time of deep anxiety there must be immediate action to assess and reduce risk. It is against this that the PSNI leadership should be judged.

“In the same timeframe interventions are needed to guarantee that there are no other vulnerabilities and deficits in how the PSNI hold, share, secure and manage data. There must be the highest certainty that no further risk exists.”

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