Arrest info on 150,000 people accidentally deleted from police database

Written by Sam Trendall on 15 January 2021 in News
News

Minister says data was wiped during ‘standard housekeeping process’

Credit: Kate Ter Haar/CC BY 2.0 - Image has been cropped

Data including arrest records and DNA information of 150,000 people has been wrongly deleted from the national policing database.

The mass deletion took place earlier this week as part of what crime and policing minister Kit Malthouse characterised as a regular administrative exercise. The information – which he said related only to people who had been arrested but released without charge – was previously housed on the Police National Computer, a central nationwide system that allows local forces to access arrest records from across the country.

“Earlier this week, a standard housekeeping process that runs on the Police National Computer deleted a number of records in error,” Malthouse said.

The minister added that steps have been taken to prevent such an accident happening again. Government and policing agencies are now working together to try and recover the lost records.


Related content


“A fast time review has identified the problem and corrected the process so it cannot happen again,” Malthouse said. “The Home Office, NPCC and other law enforcement partners are working at pace to recover the data.”

The minister said he would “provide further updates as we conclude our work”.

Malthouse claimed that there is no reason to think the data loss might pose a risk for public safety – but that he has asked for this issue to be looked at more closely.

“While the loss relates to individuals who were arrested and then released with no further action, I have asked officials and the police to confirm their initial assessment that there is no threat to public safety,” he said.

Despite these assurances, home secretary Priti Patel should update the public as a matter of urgency, according to her counterpart in the shadow cabinet, Labour MP Nick Thomas-Symonds.

“It’s not good enough for the home secretary to hide behind her junior Minister on this when there has been such a major security breach on her watch,” he said. “It’s now vital that she makes an urgent statement outlining the true scale of the issue, when Ministers were informed and what the plan is to provide public reassurance. Yet again, Conservative incompetence is putting people’s safety at risk.”

 

About the author

Sam Trendall is editor of PublicTechnology

Share this page

Tags

Categories

CONTRIBUTIONS FROM READERS

Please login to post a comment or register for a free account.

Related Articles

The biggest stories of 2020 – part two
31 December 2020

PublicTechnology completes our round-up of the most read and significant stories of 2020

Digital identity plans to promote 'vouching' by professionals
11 February 2021

Government will set legal requirements for digital identity providers rather than consider national identity cards

The four (non-coronavirus) public sector tech trends that will define 2021
29 December 2020

PublicTechnology editor Sam Trendall picks out the big issues that might shape the year ahead. Apart from that one.

Related Sponsored Articles

How digital is helping Defence Medical Services re-imagine HM Armed Forces healthcare
3 February 2021

Defence Medical Services (DMS) is pursuing ground-breaking digital, data and technology transformation which will revolutionise Tri-Service healthcare provision to over 135,000 Armed...

How Your Privacy Program is a Competitive Differentiator
29 January 2021

OneTrust presents the reasons why your organisation should invest in privacy management - and offers three easy tips for getting started 

Email security incidents happen every 12 hours – it’s time to close the gap in Microsoft 365
21 January 2021

The remote-first world has seen email being relied on more than ever as a core communication mechanism - but with 93% of IT leaders acknowledging a risk to sensitive data, what steps should be...

How to Secure Your Microsoft Cloud Estate from Phishing Emails
8 February 2021

Phishing emails are one of the most pernicious threats facing organisations today. If you’ve been leveraging Microsoft 365 and Azure to keep your users productive whilst working remotely, Six...