COUNCIL laptops have been stolen for the second time in four months.

It has emerged that three portable computers were taken in a break-in at Blackburn with Darwen Council’s children’s services department, Ainsworth Street, on Thursday night.

It is understood two of the laptops, which belonged to some of the most senior officers in the department, could have contained sensitive data, but were equipped with high-level security protection.

It comes after thousands of people’s personal data was lost when 15 laptops were snatched from council offices at Jubilee House, Blackburn, in June.

Last month an official report revealed 3,500 people’s data could have been lost, and said the computers had not been properly locked away or security protected.

Bosses say the latest theft shows staff have learned from the episode, because the computers were locked away in desk drawers.

But opposition councillors said they were ‘“worried’ by the incident.

Labour group leader Kate Hollern said: “It is very strange.

"They say people broke in, and the alarm scared them off.

"But I was told these people climbed up two flights of stairs after they broke in.

"They have obviously not learned enough.”

Council chief executive Graham Burgess said: “The recently reviewed security procedures around laptop use have been successfully implemented across the council.

“No sensitive information has been taken during this break-in.

“We are taking the incident very seriously and working with the police as part of their on-going investigations.”