Labour’s PFCC Candidate for Essex, Chris Vince, has labelled The Essex MP and Home Secretary Priti Patel as ‘missing in action’, following the disclosure that nearly half a million criminal records have been deleted.

Chris said “There could be thousands of dangerous criminals walking the streets of Essex thanks to yet another Home Office blunder, and at a time when local residents deserve a full and proper explanation from the Home Secretary, she’s missing in action.  This is going to make the work of our county’s Police Officers, who are already under a mountain of pressure caused by cuts to officers and resources, as well as this terrible pandemic.

“Nobody has heard a word from her since this most recent example of government incompetence. It’s criminal that’s she’s stayed silence yet again, and I’ll be writing to her to demand a full investigation, and challenging her to a public debate on the Tories record on crime.

"There could be thousands of dangerous criminals walking the streets of Essex thanks to yet another Home Office blunder" Chris Vince, Labour PFCC Candidate for Essex
Chris Vince, Labour PFCC Candidate for Essex

“The fact that hundreds of thousands of criminal records have been lost is of serious concern to public safety and the Home Secretary must take responsibility.  According to the Chief Police’s Council over 200,000 (new reports emerging show 400,000!) records have been lost and this includes DNA and finger print records. However, once again the Home Secretary Priti Patel, who is also an Essex MP, is absent for comment. The Home Secretary needs to be honest about the impact this has had and will have on the safety of people across Essex and begin a full and transparent investigation into what has gone wrong.  Are the records backed up, can they be recovered, what is being done to rectify the problem?

“Ms Patel is always keen to lecture Police & Crime Commissioners about the need for accountability, only last month she criticised current Commissioners (including some from her own party) for being too friendly with the Chief Constables, surely a close working relationship is important in such vital roles, yet it’s she who appears to have little accountability. She likes to talk tough, but when the going gets tough, she’s know where to be seen.

“The people of Essex deserve better.”

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