(CMR)The UK Government is now carrying out investigations into how more than 150,000 arrest records were erased.
A technological glitch has been blamed for the loss of fingerprint records, DNA records, and arrest history records.
The error could potentially allow offenders to escape justice as biometric evidence captured from crime scenes will no longer be flagged on the Police National Computer (PNC), one source told The Times.
According to The Times, the records were accidentally wiped during one of the weekly data expunging acts known as “weeding” sessions.
Britain's visa system was also said to be affected.
UK Minister for Policing Kit Malthouse said officials were attempting to recover the lost records.
He said: “A fast time review has identified the problem and corrected the process so it cannot happen again. The Home Office, NPCC (National Police Chiefs’ Council), and other law enforcement partners are working at pace to recover the data.”
Shadow Home Secretary Nick Thomas-Symonds said: “This is an extraordinarily serious security breach that presents huge dangers for public safety. The incompetence of this shambolic government cannot be allowed to put people at risk, let criminals go free, and deny victims justice.”