Government Gives Update on Data Loss of Police Records

Kit Malthouse, the Minister for Crime and Policing, gave an update to the House of Commons on the recent data loss of policing records. He said that there was a four stage process being undertaken, the first was to identify code which saw the data loss, the second was measure what was lost, the third was to recover the lost data and the fourth was delete the appropriate data. Malthouse said:

“Phases 1 and 2 of the work found that a total of 209,550 offence records have been wrongly deleted, which are associated to 112,697 persons’ records. Of these 15,089 individuals have had their data deleted in totality. Our analysis has identified that only 195 full fingerprint records were deleted, with all these records relating to cases over 10-years old. We have also confirmed that no records of convictions have been deleted. Our analysis shows that 99.5% of the deleted records were created prior to 2011. Phase 3 is now well under way and technicians are confident that all the data that has been deleted can be restored. Work to recover that data is moving forward as quickly as is possible, but it is vital that the data is restored safely to protect the integrity of the data.”

Nick Thomas-Symonds, the Shadow Home Secretary, said in a statement:

“This statement confirms many of the worst fears about the impact of this catastrophic data loss. It comes with no guarantees that the deleted data can be restored, whilst, even in the best case scenario, there will be 3 months during which criminals could walk free due to a dangerous lack of police records. A recent Ministerial letter also confirmed this could impact on international investigations.”