In December 2022, a VicPD officer lost their notebookand failed to report it had gone missing.
Nearly two months later, VicPD released that the notebook has since been recovered, but they were unaware of the officer misplacing it until recently.
VicPD learned in February that the notebook had been copied several times over and its contents were being circulated widely.
Police say that the notebook contained around 60 names and 50 addresses within Victoria, Esquimalt, Saanich, and the West Shore — each of the names in the notebook were related to a police action or investigation.
VicPD also confirmed that information found in the notebook had allegedly been used to conduct a criminal offence in Saanich.
Following an investigation, police have determined the book was lost for a five-day period in which it was copied and circulated.
Police made no mention of disciplinary action toward the officer who lost the notebook and did not report it missing.
Beginning on Thursday February 16th, VicPD officers began notifying persons who were identified, and those living at addresses listed in the notebook, of the information that has been shared.
All residents at each of the addresses which were denoted in the book will be provided information to create a safety plan and to help ensure the safety of their residence, according to VicPD.
“The significant breach of privacy that has occurred is unacceptable and on behalf of VicPD, I apologize to everyone impacted,” said Chief Del Manak.
“We will be asking the Office of the Police Complaint Commissioner (OPCC) for an ordered external investigation and I can assure you that VicPD will fully support that investigation as we work to answer the many questions we have about these events.”
“However, my primary concern at this time is ensuring that the people identified in the notebook are aware their information has been shared, and that they are supported in feeling safe.”
Police say the OPCC and the Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner (OIPC) have also been notified — any external investigations will be left to those agencies.