A laptop computer holding information about convicted criminals has been stolen from a Magistrates' Court, it was revealed yesterday.
The theft from the Victoria Law Courts in Birmingham was reported on January 14, a spokeswoman for West Midlands Police said.
The laptop was stolen from an office at the court over the Christmas period, according to Her Majesty's Courts Service (HMCS).
A spokesman said: "While this theft is regrettable, the majority of the information held on the laptop is already in the public domain and relates only to individuals that have received a criminal conviction and have failed to comply with the orders of the court. There is no information on the laptop relating to victims or witnesses."
The spokesman said police are investigating the theft, but he would not confirm whether the laptop was the property of HMCS.
Meanwhile, the inquiry into the loss of personal data from thousands of potential military recruits will be completed by the end of April, Defence Secretary Des Browne said.
The data contained on a laptop stolen last month from a Royal Navy officer's car in Edgbaston included information on about 153,000 people who applied to join the armed forces and banking details of about 3,700.
Mr Browne said the review, to be carried out by Information Advisory Council chairman Sir Edmund Burton, will look at preventing such an incident happening again.
When a furious Mr Browne revealed details to MPs last month, he said much of the data had also been contained on a laptop stolen in October 2006.
But ministers were not told about that, or the theft of an Army laptop with the data of 500 people, until after the latest incident.
In a written statement to Parliament yesterday, Mr Browne said the terms of reference for Sir Edmund's review would be: "To establish the exact circumstances and events that led to the loss by MoD of personal data.
"To examine the adequacy of steps taken to prevent any recurrence and of Mod policy, practice and management arrangements in respect of personal data more generally."
Mr Browne said Sir Edmund would report to the MoD's Permanent Secretary by April 30.