The Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) has confirmed that it is investigating the loss of an officer's laptop and notebook after they fell from a moving vehicle on yesterday afternoon, Thursday, August 17.

“Police are investigating the loss of an officer’s laptop and notebook," PSNI Assistant Chief Constable Chris Todd said on Friday.

"It is believed the material fell from a moving vehicle on the foreshore stretch of the M2 motorway, on Thursday 17th August around 4:15 pm.

"The laptop was immediately deactivated and has been recovered.

"Sections of the notebook remain outstanding.

"Enquiries are underway to establish the contents of the notebook.

"We will be liaising with the Office of the Information Commissioner and have advised the Northern Ireland Policing Board and the Department of Justice.

"Anyone with information or who recovers any material is asked to contact police on 101."

The news comes just one week after the PSNI confirmed an "extremely serious" data breach which saw the names of more than 10,000 officers and staff posted online. 

The information was erroneously published on a legitimate Freedom of Information (FOI) website on August 8 following a routine FOI request. 

The data included the surname, initials, rank/grade, role, and location of all serving officers and staff and was available to view for roughly three hours before it was taken down.

The PSNI also confirmed last week that a document containing the names of staff and officers was stolen along with a police-issue laptop from an officer's car on July 6. 

PSNI Chief Constable Simon Byrne said on Monday that dissident republicans have obtained the information that was leaked during the FOI data breach. 

"It’s therefore our planning assumption that they will use this list to generate fear and uncertainty, as well as intimidating or targeting officers and staff," Byrne said at a press conference on Monday. 

On Wednesday, a 39-year-old male was arrested in Lurgan "on suspicion of Collection of Information likely to be useful to Terrorists" in relation to the data breach but has reportedly since been released on bail.