The first report of the Commissioner for the Retention and Use for Biometric Material was published on 16 December 2014.
Alastair R MacGregor QC was appointed as the first Biometrics Commissioner by the Home Secretary on 4 March 2013 under Section 20 of the Protection of Freedoms Act 2012 (PoFA). His role is to provide independent oversight of the new regime established by PoFA to govern the retention and use by the police in England and Wales of DNA samples, DNA profiles and fingerprints. In addition to other casework responsibilities in relation to DNA and fingerprints, he also has a UK-wide oversight function as regards their retention and use by the police on national security grounds.
The report provides details of the activities of the Biometrics Commissioner since his appointment. It covers matters such as: the implementation of the new regime established by PoFA; the discharge of the Commissioner’s casework responsibilities in respect of applications for the extended retention of biometric material in cases where an individual has been arrested for, but not charged with, a ‘qualifying’ offence; the retention of biometric material on national security grounds and the making of National Security Determinations in that connection; and wider issues associated with the retention and use of biometric material by the police.