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This consultation seeks views on new guidance for police chief constables considering applications from the public to have their DNA and fingerprints deleted before the legal retention period expires. The consultation will run for 6 weeks from 18 June 2013 until 29 July 2013.
The government has committed to reforming the law on DNA and fingerprint retention. This has been delivered through the Protection of Freedoms Act, which sets out how long an individual’s DNA and fingerprints can be retained, depending on their conviction and arrest history.
In addition, a chief constable of police has discretion to delete an individual’s DNA and fingerprints before the legal retention period has expired (‘early deletion’). This will usually be on application from the individual, where exceptional circumstances apply. The Protection of Freedoms Act requires the National DNA Database (NDNAD) Strategy Board, which governs the operation of the Database, to issue guidance for chief constables on dealing with these applications.
The early deletion process and guidance will replace the ‘Exceptional Case Procedure’, the existing mechanism by which individuals can apply to police chief constables to have legally retained material destroyed.
This consultation seeks views on the draft early deletion guidance, which aims to ensure applications from the public for early deletion of DNA and fingerprints are dealt with in a fair and consistent manner by police forces across the country.
It should be noted that DNA and fingerprints which the Protection of Freedoms Act does not allow to be retained are deleted automatically; this process provides for additional deletion of material which the Act DOES allow to be retained.
More information on the Protection of Freedoms Act and the National DNA Database Strategy Board is available on the GOV.UK website.
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