SENSITIVE details of 15 child sex abuse victims was left unattended in a Hove office block.

The Crown Prosecution Service has been fined £325,000 by the Information Commissioners'.

Office after they lost unencrypted DVDs containing recordings of police interviews.

The DVDs contained recordings of interviews with 15 victims of child sex abuse, to be used at the trial as well as sensitive personal data of the victims and perpetrators.

The discs had been sent from the CPS' office in Guildford to Dyke Road, Hove. But the delivery was made outside office hours, and the DVDs – which were not in tamper-proof packaging – were left in the reception.

Anyone with access to the building could access the reception area and the information on the unencrypted DVDs.

It is not known what has happened to the DVDs.

The ICO ruled that the CPS was negligent when it failed to ensure the videos were kept safe, and did not take into account the substantial distress that would be caused if the videos were lost.

Steve Eckersley, head of enforcement, said: "It should have been obvious that this information must be properly safeguarded, as its loss could cause substantial distress.

"The victims of serious crimes entrusted the CPS to look after their highly sensitive personal data - a loss in trust could influence victims’ willingness to report serious crimes.

"The CPS failed to take basic steps to protect the data of victims of serious sexual offences."