DNA & fingerprint records
Can the Police keep my DNA, Fingerprints and photograph forever?
This is a question we are routinely asked by clients. When a person is arrested, the police will generally take a DNA sample, fingerprints and a photo. As we all know though, many clients are arrested for offences which they are never even charged with. When this happens to their DNA profile and fingerprint records.
What is DNA?
A DNA sample is generally taken from a mouth swab and is an individual’s biological material containing all of their genetic information. Such sample can be analysed and a DNA profile produced.
Can the Police Keep my DNA and/or fingerprints?
It used to be the case that the police would keep all fingerprints/DNA profiles obtained. However, in 2008 the European Court of Human Rights ruled in the case of S and marper v UK that the policy of a blanket retention of DNA profiles from innocent persons was a disproportionate interference on a persons Human Rights.
Following this the Protection of Freedoms Act 2012 was introduced. This allows fingerprints and DNA of convicted persons to be retained indefinitely. However, it also allows for the automatic deletion of records belonging to those arrested but not charged with any offences.
*** It should however be noted be noted that this only related to biometrica data and there will still be a police National Computer (PNC) record however it is possible to apply to delete this.
What do the police do with DNA profiles and finger print records?
The police routinely run speculative searches of DNA and fingerprint records obtained from crime scenes against the profiles and records which they hold on the national databases. If a positive match is made the police will conduct further enquires often resulting in the arrest of the individual whose data has been matched.
What happened if I am found ‘not guilty’ by a Court?
If you are arrested and charged by the police but then subsequently found not guilty at court, you may be able to apply for the deletion of your DNA and fingerprints and Police National Computer offences the data will be automatically deleted with no requirement for an application by yourself. You will need to be able to satisfy the necessary grounds for such application. If your application is successful, records of your fingerprints and DNA profile will be deleted from police databases and no longer used for speculative searches.
If you require further advice in relation to the removal of your DNA profile/fingerprint records, then please contact Levins Solicitors on 0151 480 5777.