The UK has been accused of a major cover-up over a period of five years, during which one in three alerts on offenders were not reported to the EU via the police national computer, The Guardian reports. Rape and murder were potential offences, the publication added. The scandal enabled convicts to return to their home countries without local authorities being aware of their presence.
The failures came to light during a an ACRO Criminal Records Office meeting.
But the minutes report a major “software glitch” was the cause of the issue.
However, the Home office has been accused of concealing the software failure from EU partners, according to minutes from the meeting.
The minutes added: “There is a nervousness from Home Office around sending the historical notifications out dating back to 2012 due to the reputational impact this could have.”
A June meeting’s minutes read: “There is still uncertainty whether historical DAFs [daily activity file], received from the Home Office, are going to be sent out to counties (sic) as there is a reputational risk to the UK.”
The backlog involved 75,000 notifications.
Labour’s Diane Abbott demanded a “full urgent investigation” and urged “ministers come clean”.
It comes amid what appears to be a damning attack on the UK Home Office, who in August was accused of profiting from £500million in immigration fees.
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Critics say the profits made by the Home Office show it is still operating the hostile environment policy, despite disowning it after the Windrush scandal.
The increase in fees has a strong impact on the children of migrant parents who were either born in the UK or came as a child.
Applicants stuck in the system compare it to “snakes and ladders, without the ladders” as a single error could deprive them of access to basic services and a higher risk of being deported to countries they’ve never known.
Boris Johnson called for an overhaul of the system and warned thousands of people were at risk of a “Windrush fiasco” repeating.
Labour MP Rupa Huq said: “Every week I see people who have been ripped off by exorbitant application fees for a substandard service while being fleeced by money-gobbling solicitors.
“The Windrush scandal exposed the incompetence of Home Office bureaucracy.
“This profiteering shows the hostile environment is alive and well.”
Home Office’s policy is to make the immigration system self-funding in the efforts to deter, catch and deport illegal immigrants.