Sodexo blunder could put PSNI staff at risk

02 November 2010 by
Sodexo blunder could put PSNI staff at risk

Sodexo has landed in hot water after an "alarming" security breach that is claimed to have threatened the lives of more than 100 civilian workers at Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) stations across the state.

The gaffe, described as potentially life-threatening, occurred when Sodexo posted work-related correspondence to the workers with the name of their PSNI station on the envelope.

The workers have now received security advice owing to the severity of the terrorist threat against PSNI officers and its civilian staff.

Sodexo, which was appointed catering provider for PSNI in December 2008, employs the civilian workers. It has apologised unreservedly for the error.

A statement issued to the BBC said that an investigation is under way.

"We have met with our client the PSNI, who is fully aware of the situation, and we will report back to the client in ful," it added.

"Procedures will be put in place to ensure that this does not happen again.

Jimmy Spratt, a policing board member for the Democratic Unionist Party, called on Sodexo to pay for any security measures those affected have had to take. "It seems completely crazy that they did not pick up on the security implications of this," he said.

"I think a very valid question is what sort of briefing this company got in relation to the security of civilian staff and the importance of making sure there was no breach of security."

Dominic Bradley, SDLP Policing Board member, agreed: "This is an alarming situation and obviously there is a risk of the security of these workers being compromised."

He added measures should be taken to prevent a similar situation arising again.

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By Janie Stamford

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