Over 400,000 police records have been accidentally deleted from the UK's national database, the Home Office has said. The records were wiped due to "human error" last week.
Home Secretary Priti Patel and Policing Minister Kit Malthouse released a statement saying that Home Office engineers worked over the weekend to restore the highly-sensitive data lost from the Police National Computer, with police fearing criminals may not be caught as a result of the mishap. Data engineers are now said to be developing and testing new codes to restore the data; a "fast time review" will also identify the problem and correct it "so it cannot happen again".
Ms Patel said: "Home Office engineers continue to work to restore data lost as a result of human error during a routine housekeeping process. Public safety is the number one priority of everyone within the Home Office, and I would like to thank the data engineers working to restore these records."
Labour leader Keir Starmer called on the Home Secretary to "take responsibility". Starmer, who was once head of the Crown Prosecution Service, said it was a "really serious situation" and added that "having worked in criminal justice for many, many years, having prosecuted every case in England and Wales for five years, I know just how important that information is."