POLICE and Home Office staff are trying to recover 150,000 fingerprint, DNA and arrest history records wiped from databases, it was confirmed yesterday.
The data, on people released with no further action, vanished during what the Home Office called a “standard housekeeping process”.
Policing Minister Kit Malthouse claimed that the blunder could not happen again as the cause had been corrected.
But former Cumbria police chief Stuart Hyde said there was a risk to public safety as suspects who went on to offend may not be traceable.
Labour said Home Secretary Priti Patel should take responsibility for the "extraordinarily serious security breach" that "presents huge dangers for public safety".
Mr Malthouse said: "The Home Office, NPCC (National Police Chiefs' Council) and other law enforcement partners are working at pace to recover the data.
"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."
The Times previously reported that the records were accidentally wiped during a weekly “weeding” session to expunge data last week and the blunder was blamed on a software failure.
And the data loss comes just months after an engineer unplugged it, causing the whole system to go down for 10 hours.
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