An official at the Home Office has been suspended after it emerged four drugs offenders and a people smuggler had been cleared to work with children and vulnerable adults.Another nine individuals were "probably" given a clean bill of health despite having committed "serious" offences in Europe, according to the Home Office.The suspension came after the individual came forward with information to the internal inquiry which has been launched into the affair.A Home Office spokesman said: "An official at the Home Office has volunteered evidence in the last 48 hours which warrants further investigation. In the meantime this official has been suspended pending further inquiries."Home Secretary John Reid and his ministers Joan Ryan and Tony McNulty have insisted they were not informed of the backlog in notifications of convictions from Europe, or of requests by police for more resources to help clear it.But they have accepted that meetings were held between Home Office officials and police concerning the backlog.But a Home Office spokesman said it was "incorrect" that Miller would have been supervised by probation officers if his records had been stored electronically earlier.There was widespread anger last week after it emerged there was a backlog of 27,500 notifications for Britons convicted abroad - including 540 for serious crimes.EU states had sent the files to the Home Office as part of their obligations under the European Convention, but until last May there was no effective system in place for entering the data on the PNC.The blunder raised the prospect of serious criminals - including murderers and rapists - being cleared to work with children and vulnerable adults because their crimes were not entered, and therefore did not show up during vetting by the CRB.Â© Independent Television News Limited 2007. All rights reserved.
ITN | January 14, 2007