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Home Secretary Priti Patel refuses to face MPs over loss of police records

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
Priti Patel is refusing to explain the severity of the situation triggered by the loss of police records to MPs

The Home Secretary, Priti Patel, is coming under intense pressure to take direct responsibility for the loss of at least 400,000 vital police records.

The Home Office claims human error and defective code is responsible for the loss and insists data engineers are developing and testing new code to restore the lost data.

The lost records include 213,000 offence records, 175,000 arrest records and 15,000 person records.

In addition, a total of 26,000 DNA records relating to 21,710 people are believed to have been deleted, as well as 30,000 fingerprint records and 600 subject records.

Labor leader, Keir Starmer, has sounded the alarm on the loss by claiming that some of the lost data relates to “live” criminal investigations and is therefore a direct threat to public safety.

Despite the scale of the scandal, Patel refuses to face MPs and has instead tasked policing minister, Kit Malthouse, to update the House of Commons later on Monday (January 18).

Labor’s shadow Home Secretary, Nick Thomas-Symonds, has described Patel’s decision not to address the House of Commons as “shameful” and “embarrassing”.

"It's an abject failure of leadership not to grip a crisis that has seen 400,000 records deleted and criminals set to walk free", Thomas-Symonds said.

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