AN IT error has resulted in dozens of volunteer park rangers’ personal data – including phone numbers and home addresses – being compromised.

The mistake was made after a member of council staff contacted volunteers asking them to submit their hours of availability for park ranging.

But the staff member failed to redact confidential information in the email, meaning home addresses, as well as landline and mobile phone numbers, were sent out by accident.

Terry Juffs, who is a Colchester Council volunteer ranger and former chairman of Volunteer Rangers, said he was worried about the compromising of personal data and added he had already received a letter from an unnamed individual who simply wrote “I know where you live, mate.”

He said: “The park rangers don’t share their home addresses unless they decide they want to.

“This is really not on, and a serious error of judgement – there is no leadership at the moment because the lead ranger has gone on long-term sick leave, so they are flying by the seat of their pants.

“What’s annoying about this is I like to keep my home address confidential, to be honest, because I do get some strange things through the door.”

As a former barrister, Mr Juffs added that his career in law meant certain individuals may want to intimidate him, adding he had already received a threatening letter from an individual who had obtained his address.



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He said: “I received a letter reading: “I know where you live mate, and you want to be careful.”

“I’m 69 now and I can handle myself, but you don’t know who is out there with a knife.

“I’m not going to take this to the police because I don’t think this was done in a malicious way, but these actions do have consequences,” Mr Juffs added.

When the Gazette contacted Colchester Council for comment, a spokesman said: “We take all matters relating to the security of our residents’ personal data seriously.

"We want to reassure residents that we are conducting an internal investigation to establish the nature of the content shared with the individuals concerned, and appropriate action will be taken.”