More than 150,000 criminal records have been accidentally deleting from the police databases in a Home Office tech error that caused the police department to launch damage control.
Home Office tech blunder
The fingerprints, DNA records and arrest history records were all deleted in the Police National Computer or PNC error last week, according to The Times.
The newspaper wrote that this blunder could allow offenders to go free without any repercussions because the evidence that is needed to arrest them and all those from the crime scene will not be flagged.
The error reportedly happened by accident during a weekly "weeding" session to expunge data, Home Office confirmed the story and said that it was still assessing the overall impact of the unfortunately glitch.
Officials insisted that no records of criminals or dangerous people had been deleted in the system because the records that were wiped out were records of the people whom no further action needs to be taken.
However, the deletions could still affect the police's ability to reopen the investigations if more evidence comes to light, especially in certain cases.
Labour demanded an urgent statement from Home Secretary Priti Patel. Nick Thomas-Symonds, the Shadow Home Secretary, said that the Home Secretary must take responsibili8ty for this serious issue and that she must urgently make a statement about what has gone wrong, the severity of the issue and what action is being taken to reassure the public. He also added that there should be answers given.
Thomas-Symonds added that this is an extraordinarily serious security breach that presents massive dangers for public safety. The incompetence of this shambolic Government can't be allowed to put people at risk and to let criminals go free and to deny the victims justice.
The Times added that important intelligence about suspects had been deleted because of the tech blunder. They added that Britain's visa system was thrown into disarray because of that happened. The Times claims that the processing of visa applications having been suspended for two days.
Home Office assures the public
The Home Office statement said that the technical issue with the Police National Computer has been resolved, and that they are currently looking at pace with law enforcement partners to assess its impact, according to The Telegraph.
Home Office added that the issue liked to those arrested and released where no further action had been taken. They assured that no records of criminals or dangerous persons have been deleted. Also, there are no further records that can be deleted.
An official from the Home Office insisted that there had been no risks around the visa processing, and that it is now operating as usual.
Minister for Policing Kit Malthouse said that a standard housekeeping process that runs on the Police National Computer that happened earlier this week deleted numerous records due to the tech error.
Malthouse added that a fast time review has identified the issue and had corrected the process so it can't happen anymore. He said that the Home Office, NPCC and other law enforcement partners are now working quickly to recover the data.
Malthouse also said that while the loss of criminal records is connected to those who were arrested and then released with no further action, he still talked to officials and the police to assure that this hiccup has no threat to public safety.
Related Article: Signal App Security Setting: How to Make Safe Even Safer
This article is owned by Tech Times
Written by Sieeka Khan