OBSCC: Do police powers to retain DNA for serious offences need reviewing?

13/10/2023 | Biometrics and Surveillance Camera Commissioner

A letter from Biometrics and Surveillance Camera Commissioner Professor Fraser Sampson to HM Chief Inspector Andy Cooke enquires about the use of police powers to retain biometrics for individuals arrested for serious offences. The letter focuses on powers given to police officers through s.63G applications to retain DNA and fingerprints of individuals arrested for certain qualifying offences such as domestic abuse, sexual offences, burglary, and violence where no prosecution could be brought.

The Commissioner asks whether the current statutory elements, such as time limits, are in need of revision to make this power more practical and effective for policing. The letter also includes statistics on the frequency of s.63G applications made by police forces since 2013. Additionally, the Commissioner asked the forces that had not used these powers since the beginning of the year for the rationale behind their decision.

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Biometrics, DNA, fingerprints, Forencis

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