Criminal Records Bureau checks still valid despite Home Office’s failure to update police database with foreign convictions

The Home Office today insisted HR staff should have faith in the Criminal Records Bureau despite a blunder which meant crimes committed abroad went unreported.

More than 27,000 paper files containing details of crimes committed by UK citizens abroad have not been entered on the police national computer.

It has been reported that the backlog built up over the past five years because of a row between the police and the government about who should deal with them.

But the Home Office said HR staff should continue to rely on the Criminal Records Bureau for checking whether job applicants are suitable for certain work including that with children and vulnerable adults.

“There are millions of files on the system, and to suggest that people should stop using it because 27,000 files have gone missing is a bit daft,” said a Home Office spokeswoman.

“As the police made clear, the case files of all serious offenders in the backlog have been entered onto the police national computer.”

Home secretary John Reid is now conducting a major inquiry into this latest embarrassment for his department, which he had already described as “not fit for purpose”.

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