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Home Office pulps Northern Ireland 'risk' files

By Michael McHugh

Published 17/07/2015

Dozens of safeguarding records from Northern Ireland have been destroyed, the Home Office said
Dozens of safeguarding records from Northern Ireland have been destroyed, the Home Office said

Dozens of safeguarding records from Northern Ireland have been destroyed, the Home Office said.

A total of 64 files on people seeking work with the vulnerable or children were scrapped between 2010 and 2013 because of data protection legislation - breaking an understanding with the Departments of Health and Education in Belfast that the information be preserved, according to UK minister Karen Bradley.

Some material in a further 18 documents was destroyed and another two lost.

In all cases where files were disposed of, the Stormont authorities had already made decisions whether to bar individuals from jobs where they might pose a risk to the vulnerable. Only two people had been prohibited.

The UK's Independent Inquiry Into Child Sexual Abuse and the Historical Institutional Abuse Inquiry in Northern Ireland have been informed of the breaches, the Home Office said.

Ms Bradley said: "While it is extremely regrettable that these files have been destroyed I can, however, assure the House (of Commons) that the disposal of this information does not present a safeguarding risk to the public."

In all cases the authorities in Northern Ireland had made their decisions before the files were loaned.

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