Nick Thomas-Symonds, the Shadow Home Secretary, has written to Priti Patel, the Home Secretary, to ask questions about the substantial data loss that has taken place at the Home Office. The Home Secretary is under pressure to explain whether she was aware of the loss before the media revealed that 150,000 records had been deleted and there is now an allegation that 400,000 records have been destroyed.
In the letter sent by Thomas-Symonds, he wrote:
“I write in regard to the deeply worrying revelations that 150,000 fingerprint, DNA and arrest history records, held on the Police National Computer, have been deleted. This is incredibly serious and it is unacceptable that the news emerged as a result of a media story, rather than a proactive statement from the Government.”
Thomas-Symonds asked numerous questions including about when Ministers were first informed of the loss, what steps have been taken to mitigate the situation and what measures have been put in place to prevent a recurrence of the crisis.
Keir Starmer, the Leader of the Opposition, said in a statement:
“This government is very good whenever there is a problem at saying it’s somebody else’s fault. At a time like this we need the home secretary to take responsibility herself for this. At the very least she should be in parliament on Monday making a statement about this, explaining it, giving it the full facts and facing questions from MPs. That’s the least we should expect.”
Patel, the Home Secretary, has yet to provide a full statement, but said yesterday:
“I continue to be in regular contact with the team, and working with our policing partners, we will provide an update as soon as we can.”