Sussex Police is investigating online security breaches that have led to personal email addresses of some members of the public being obtained by hackers.
A spokesperson for the force said three separate breaches have been identified within a contained area of Sussex Police’s external website, and that they could be linked.
Amaraghosha Carter, joint head of IT for Surrey and Sussex, said staff have contacted hundreds of people who may be affected.
She said: “A full investigation is underway to identify the source of the breaches and their impact.
“Those responsible have obtained email addresses of a number of officers and personal email addresses of some members of the public who have used the services of our website.
“Communications staff have contacted around 270 people who may have been affected, in particular to give them security advice in relation to their passwords for our community messaging service.
“Our website is entirely separate to those systems used to investigate crime. The activity has not impacted on any other force IT, web or telephony systems and operational response is unaffected. There has been no impact on our service to the public. Measures are being put in place to ensure that the security of the website is not compromised further.
“Work is being carried out to ensure that all our IT systems remain resilient and secure and an investigation is under way to find those responsible.”
Police have asked anyone with any concerns to contact them by calling 101 or sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org quoting serial 1483 of 23/12.