Confidential papers were stolen

AN MP last night called for tighter security measures after it was revealed confidential papers scattered on a pavement were items of post stolen from a letterbox.

AN MP last night called for tighter security measures after it was revealed confidential papers scattered on a pavement were items of post stolen from a letterbox.

A number of documents - including a pack of police referrals to children's services containing the ages, addresses and telephone numbers of named individuals - were found dumped outside the Newberry Clinic children's centre in Lowestoft Road, Gorleston, at about 7.30am on Sunday.

A police probe, involving security staff from the James Paget University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (JPH) which runs the clinic, established that the papers were from a mail delivery on Saturday morning.

It is thought the papers were discarded in the grounds of the clinic. Police were alerted by EDP reporter Stephen Pullinger who came across them while out running. Police retrieved most of them after a thorough sweep of the area and others were picked up and handed in by another member of the public.


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A police spokesman said: “Some police referrals, which had been properly posted according to usual processes, arrived at the clinic and were stolen during a burglary.

“We are working in conjunction with the JPH to establish a clearer picture of what happened and will decide if any further steps need to be taken at the conclusion of the inquiries.”

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Yarmouth MP Tony Wright said the incident raised important security questions from which lessons needed to be drawn.

He said: “What was considered good practice five or 10 years ago might not be now. I think certainly the least that should come out of this is that sensitive items like the police referrals should be sent by registered mail so someone has to sign for them at the other end. Or maybe they should be delivered by hand.”

Adrian Pennington, chief executive at the JPH, said: “Police have confirmed these items were stolen following a burglary which they are investigating. We are taking advice as to how this can be avoided in the future.”

The centre's letterbox had been sealed yesterday, with callers asked to take mail to the reception.

Police last night thanked the public for their help in the case and urged anyone with information about the theft or who had found any papers of interest to contact police immediately. Contact Yarmouth CID on 0845 4564567.

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