Council 'put personal details' on web

A BLUNDERING council was condemned last night for putting people's personal details - including national insurance numbers - on the internet.Dozens of people were left furious after learning their public event license application forms had been scanned and put on St Edmundsbury Borough Council's website.

A BLUNDERING council was condemned last night for putting people's personal details - including national insurance numbers - on the internet.

Dozens of people were left furious after learning their public event license application forms had been scanned and put on St Edmundsbury Borough Council's website.

The temporary event notices include the applicants' names, addresses, dates and places of birth, contact details, national insurance numbers, and a copy of their signatures.

Last night, the council said it had removed the information and was taking steps to ensure it didn't happen again.

Charlotte Bevan, who applied to the council for permission to set up a stall at the South Suffolk Show this weekend, said she was left speechless when she saw her details on the website.

“I just could not believe it,” she said. “I had absolutely no idea my private details were going to be made public like that, and if someone knows what they are doing I am sure that is all the information they would need to commit identification fraud.”

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Mrs Bevan, from Haughley, was just one of 60 applicants whose details were put on the web, for events being held at venues across the borough, including primary schools, pubs, churches, and village halls.

The 2003 Licensing Act states that temporary event notices must be obtained by anyone wishing to sell or provide alcohol, provide entertainment or late-night refreshment.

Robert Lines, landlord of the Greyhound pub in Flempton, near Bury St Edmunds, applied for a licence to hold a wedding at a private address next month, which would involve the sale of alcohol.

“I was not aware my details were on the website, but it is of great concern,” he said. “I do not think contact details are so important, but things like national insurance numbers and signatures could leave people open to fraud, and I just don't think it's right that the council has done this.”

According to a Home Office website, criminals are able to commit identity theft by stealing personal information, which they can use to open bank accounts, get credit cards, loans, state benefits and documents such as passports and driving licences, all in someone else's name.

A spokeswoman for St Edmundsbury Borough Council said: “We have been made aware of this problem and thank the customer who brought it to our attention. We have immediately removed the information from our website and will take steps to ensure this does not happen again.”

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