Commissioner for the Retention and Use of Biometric Material

Professor Paul Wiles


Professor Wiles has spent much of his career as an academic criminologist at a number of UK universities and is currently a governor at Sheffield Hallam University and a trustee of the National Centre for Social Research.

Until 2015 he was an adviser to the Sentencing Council, and has also worked as a Local Government Boundary Commissioner and sat on the board of the Food Standards Agency.

Between 1999 and 2010 he was the Chief Scientific Adviser to the Home Office providing independent advice to ministers on scientific evidence and the analysis and interpretation of data.

Commissioner for the Retention and Use of Biometric Material

The Biometrics Commissioner is independent of government. Their role is to:

  • keep under review the retention and use by the police of DNA samples, DNA profiles and fingerprints
  • decide applications by the police to retain DNA profiles and fingerprints (under section 63G of the Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984)
  • review national security determinations which are made or renewed by the police in connection with the retention of DNA profiles and fingerprints
  • provide reports to the Home Secretary about the carrying out of his functions

Biometrics Commissioner


  1. Biometrics Commissioner’s address to the Westminster Forum: 5 May 2020