"So, first of all, let me just clarify this - this is a coding issue", Home Secretary Priti Patel said. "We talk about a figure of 400,000 but the actual figure could actually be a lot less".
The error that occurred a week ago also created major problems for the visa system, temporarily freezing the processing of applications, which had to be checked with the PNC.
The incident reportedly happened as the police purged their databases of excess information during a so-called "weeding" session. While the DNA and fingerprints of convicts are stored indefinitely, some information is deleted automatically by the software. For instance, the data of people arrested and released (or acquitted at trial) is usually kept for three years.