Police anti-terror data found in street

A flash memory drive containing more than 2,000 pages of sensitive anti-terrorist information has been discovered in the street outside a police station in Greater Manchester.

The USB device, labelled with the initials GMP POTU - standing for 'Greater Manchester Police Public Order Training Unit' - was found by a 36-year-old businessman in Stalybridge.

When he inserted the drive into his PC, the man discovered it contained a document entitled Manual On Guidance Of Keeping The Peace by the National Police Improvement Agency, detailing proposed measures to counter terrorist attacks including bombing incidents and acid attacks.

The anonymous finder told UK tabloid The Daily Star: "There are even diagrams of crowd control scenes. If this got into the wrong hands, they would be one step ahead of the police all the time. The information in there is dynamite."

Also included on the drive were the names, ranks and divisions of serving police officers involved in anti-terrorism, along with a list of their official duties.

Superintendent Bryan Lawton of Greater Manchester Police's Specialist Operations Branch said: "We are aware of an article relating to the finding of a memory stick belonging to GMP by a member of the public.

"We are currently looking into who this device belongs to, what information is contained on it and the circumstances surrounding its loss. As such it would be inappropriate to comment further at this time."