Destruction of fingerprints and DNA samples
Destruction of fingerprints and DNA samples

The following Corporate Crime practice note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Destruction of fingerprints and DNA samples
  • Retention and destruction of fingerprints and samples under PACE 1984
  • Retention and destruction of fingerprints following implementation of the Protection of Freedoms Act 2012
  • Retention and destruction of fingerprints and DNA relating to offences outside of England and Wales
  • Procedural requirements of the Criminal Procedure Rules

Coronavirus (COVID-19): This Practice Note contains guidance impacted by the Coronavirus Act 2020 (CA 2020). CA 2020, among other measures, grants power to the Secretary of State to extend the length of time that biometric samples such as fingerprints and DNA are able to be retained for national security purposes by six months, up to a maximum of 12 months. Please see CA 2020, s 24, the Coronavirus (Retention of Fingerprints and DNA Profiles in the Interests of National Security) Regulations 2020, SI 2020/391 and the Coronavirus (Retention of Fingerprints and DNA Profiles in the Interests of National Security) (No. 2) Regulations 2020, SI 2020/973. For updates on key developments and related practical guidance on the implications for lawyers, see: Coronavirus (COVID-19) and the criminal justice system—overview and Coronavirus (COVID-19) toolkit.

Retention and destruction of fingerprints and samples under PACE 1984

The procedure for the taking, retaining and destroying fingerprints, footwear impressions, DNA samples and the profiles derived from those samples was set out in Part 5 of Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984 (PACE 1984). Following the implementation of PACE 1984 and the Codes which support the Act amendments to the regime were made by the Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1994 (CJPOA 1994) which enabled DNA samples to be taken from anyone charged with, reported for summons, cautioned or convicted of a recordable offence; and allowed profiles

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