DNA and Fingerprints held by Police
Destruction of one’s DNA, fingerprints and image from the Police National Computer is an important matter for many people. If you were wrongly arrested so that no charges were brought or you were charged but not convicted, the forced taking of your personal details in the form of DNA and Fingerprints ought not be left on the Police National Computer as if you were a convicted criminal.
The Protection of Freedoms Act 2012 (see more dna etc for more detail) was passed to deal with the criticism of the UK by the European Court of Human Rights in the case of Marper v UK for its apparent intention to keep as many details on the PNC as it could possibly obtain and to keep the information for ever. The police of course like that concept but now there are limits on what can be done with your personal information.
Most of the requirements are subject to the police being able to ask for extensions but the extensions do not normally go on for too long a period. The most important point to make is that if you were arrested for a minor offence but never charged or convicted any DNA and fingerprints taken from you must be destroyed. However, before destruction the police are entitled to take some time to speculatively search against unsolved reported crimes.
If you are convicted of any crime as an adult the situation is very different. The samples can then be kept indefinitely. The rules are slightly more complex for those under 18years of age.
Things are not really so clear for those who are not convicted of a crime. If you were charged with a qualifying offence, although acquitted your samples can be held for three years and a court can order a 2 year extension on that. If you were not charged but were arrested for a qualifying offence then the samples can be held for three years if application is made to a Biometrics Commissioner with a two year extension possible.
Sometimes you will come out of a police station with a penalty notice for disorder that you accept in which event the samples can be held for 2 years even though you may have denied any offending and the police did not even charge you.
The law is changing and there will be some clarification in due course of some of the issues. If you have a problem in this area you might like to take our expert legal advice to help to sort matters satisfactorily.
Contact Dennis Clarke to discuss your needs and agree a fee structure to deal with this.