Council apologises to police for Web leak

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 16 May, 2006, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 16 May, 2006, 12:00am

The Independent Police Complaints Council has apologised to police officers named in the database leaked onto the Web, but some officers are not satisfied.

The letters, sent to individual officers and dated May 11, also said officers could contact the two council committees handling the blunder if they needed further help.

The officers' names, numbers and units were included in a list of the personal details of about 20,000 people who had complained about the police. The leak was discovered in March, and the privacy commissioner has begun an inquiry.

The exact number of police officers affected by the leak remains unknown, but it could run into thousands, given the number of complaints in the database.

The two unions representing frontline officers - the Police Inspectors' Association and the Junior Police Officers' Association - said last night there were no plans to take further action against the council, although individual officers were free to pursue the matter.

Tony Liu Kit-ming, the chairman of the inspectors association, was pleased the council sent letters of apology to each officer involved, but was unhappy over the delay.

'Although [the apology] was low profile and given reluctantly, the association at this stage has no further action planned. But some colleagues still felt the letters failed to tell them exactly what happened and [whether] other information was leaked,' he said.

The junior officers' union also accepted the apology, said association chairman Chung Kam-wah.

'We'll wait to see how the incident develops before deciding whether further action will be needed,' he said.

The council, an independent body that monitors complaints against the force, earlier said any compensation for victims of the leak would have to be met by the government, as any legal claims would be made to the body's secretariat, a government department.