SYP reported itself to the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) after the footage, recorded between July 2020 and May 2023, was found to be missing. The force initially said the incident had been caused by a "significant and unexplained reduction" in stored data on its computer systems and later clarified that the data had been "deleted" and not hacked.
Around 69 cases have been identified as potentially affected by the loss of data and the force said it was working closely with the victims and Crown Prosecution Service. The cases range from cannabis possession through to domestic abuse and sexual offences, SYP told The Independent that urgent work, led by digital forensic experts, is underway to recover the footage.
It comes just weeks after a major data beach in Northern Ireland, where the force mistakenly published the personal details of officers in response to a freedom of information request.
Norfolk and Suffolk police forces, in another freedom of information request incident, released the personal details of more than 1,000 people, including crime victims.