TORFAEN MP Nick Thomas-Symonds has criticised home secretary Priti Patel's response to the major loss of police records.

Around 400,000 fingerprint, DNA and arrest records were deleted from the police database, prompting concerns that criminal investigations could be compromised.

There are concerns that, without the data, criminals will be walking free who would otherwise have been apprehended by evidence such as DNA records and fingerprints linking them to crime scenes, and that vulnerable people will not be safeguarded without information such as arrest records being made available to the police.


In the House of Commons on Monday, Mr Thomas-Symonds challenged the government to answer key questions, including whether ministers were certain, given the initial confusion, that no more than 400,000 records had been lost.

The shadow home secretary also asked what work was being done with police to identify gaps in the system and what the impact will be on vital safeguarding issues, such as domestic abuse and stalking.

Mr Thomas-Symonds also criticised Ms Patel's decision not to attend Parliament to face questions on the matter.

“It was the home secretary who needed to show leadership and take control. That is what previous home secretaries have done in a crisis," he said.

“On the Passport Office, Windrush and knife crime, whatever their mistakes, home secretaries came to and answered to this House; they did not just offer a media clip, as has happened today.

“This home secretary, who is failing on violent crime and failing on the Windrush compensation scheme, with chaos on border testing, and who was found to have broken the ministerial code, will now not even answer to Parliament and the public on this most serious of issues.

“The home secretary likes to talk tough, but when the going gets tough, she is nowhere to be seen.”