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ICO head of enforcement, Stephen Eckersley, said: “If this information had fallen into the wrong hands the impact on people’s lives would have been enormous and damaging.
"These tapes and files included extremely sensitive and confidential information relating to individuals, many of whom had been involved in serious and violent crimes.
“If this information had fallen into the wrong hands the impact on people’s lives would have been enormous and damaging" - Stephen Eckersley
"How a police force could leave such information unattended in a basement for several years is difficult to understand."
He said the breach was a result of a clear lack of oversight, which had led to sensitive information being abandoned.
He added: "It is only good fortune that the mistake was uncovered when it was and the information hasn’t fallen into the wrong hands.”
The investigation found that Kent Police had no guidance or procedures in place to makes sure personal information was securely removed from former premises.
A Kent Police spokesman said no sensitive information was lost in the incident and new procedures had been put in place.
He said: "Kent Police has co-operated fully with the Information Commissioner's Office and accepts the findings of its investigation.
"It is unacceptable for police property to have been left at the site of the former station in Gravesend following the move to North Kent Police Station in July 2008.
"Since this was reported in 2012, Kent Police has reviewed its policies to ensure all documentation and files containing personal information are dealt with appropriately and in compliance with Data Protection legislation.
"In addition we have now implemented new procedures when vacating police premises.
"After the discovery of the loss of data from the former police station, officers quickly retrieved and secured all documentation and property belonging to Kent Police.
"No sensitive information was lost or further disseminated."
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