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Home ยป Dissident Republicans Possess Leaked Data On Northern Ireland Officers, Police Believe

Dissident Republicans Possess Leaked Data On Northern Ireland Officers, Police Believe

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The Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) says it fears its officers could be targeted and intimidated after saying it believes that dissident republicans possess data on staff that was accidentally leaked by the force last week.

“We are now confident that the workforce dataset is in the hands of dissident republicans,” Chief Constable Simon Byrne said.

“It is therefore a planning assumption that they will use this list to generate fear and uncertainty as well as intimidating or targeting officers and staff.”

The leaked document had the names of about 10,000 officers and staff. Details included the surname and first initial of every employee, their rank or grade, where they are based and the unit they work in.

A “range of cyber specialists from across the policing system” are helping the PSNI to deal with “this unprecedented incident”, Mr Byrne said.

“We have measures in place to reassure and advise our workforce of what this risk means for them.”

However, the PSNI had not “caught up” with 45 members by the start of Monday, Mr Byrne said.

Regarding “worry and anxiety”, he said a service will be starting on Tuesday involving “occupational health and welfare colleagues to support people who are suffering anxiety and stress”.

The PSNI will “continue to adapt our posture and our tactics as the information changes”, he added.

The data did not contain information on retired colleagues.

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PSNI data posted outside Sinn Fein office Earlier, a redacted version of the leaked document that listed the names of police officers in Northern Ireland was posted on a wall facing a Sinn Fein office in Belfast.

The party said it was a “sinister” attempt to intimidate one of its politicians.

Mr Byrne said that was the “first indication that started to vindicate our planning assumption that this list had fallen into the wrong hands”.

Chair of the Police Federation for Northern Ireland, Liam Kelly, said Mr Byrne’s announcement was “no great surprise”.

However, he said it makes it “all the more imperative for each and every colleague to exercise maximum vigilance”.

Read more:

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NI police data breach explained Sinn Fein’s policing spokesperson, Gerry Kelly – a member of the Stormont assembly – said a version of the document with the officers’ names removed was posted on a wall facing the party’s office on the Falls Road in Belfast overnight.

A photo of Mr Kelly and a threatening message, saying, “Gerry, we know who your mates are” were posted alongside the document.

“This is a very obvious attempt by dissident republicans to intimidate me,” Mr Kelly said.

“Even more sinister, this is a very public indication that the dissidents do have access to the sensitive information in the data leak document.

“It therefore represents a very real threat to the officers and the civilian staff involved.”

Mr Kelly said he believed it was the “main intention” of the incident to verify the claim that they have access to leaked documents.

“I have of course reported this incident to the PSNI and I would appeal to anyone with information to bring that information forward,” he said.