MORE than 150,000 fingerprint, DNA and arrest records have been lost in a technical blunder.

Intelligence about suspects also disappeared and the country’s visa system has been thrown into disarray.

Over 150,000 fingerprint, DNA and arrest records lost from police database in technical blunder

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Over 150,000 fingerprint, DNA and arrest records have been lost from a police databaseCredit: PA:Press Association

The error means some criminals could walk free because biometric evidence left at crime scenes will not be flagged up by the Police National Computer (PNC).

Sources told The Times 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.

Deliberate activity, such as a cyber attack, was ruled out.

The finger print and DNA data was lost because the databases holding them was connected to the Home Office-owned PNC.

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Home Office officials are working to establish the impact of the error, which will likely take several days, while senior police and officials have held ‘gold group’ crisis meetings.

The PNC holds cast amounts of intelligence and allows real-time checks on people and vehicles.

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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MORE than 150,000 fingerprint, DNA and arrest records have been lost in a technical blunder.