Back

Retention of DNA Records - Breach of Government Promise to Delete?

According to recent newspaper reports, the DNA records of up to a million innocent people are to be kept by police, in an apparent breach of a previous promise made by the Government to delete them.

Records will be retained in anonymous form, but it will still be possible to match them to peoples’ names. Currently, profiles of everyone arrested for a ‘recordable offence’ are held on the national DNA database.

In May last year the Government proposed to delete all profiles of those not charged, except in cases of violent or sex crimes. However, MPs on a committee considering the change to legislation have been informed by a Home Office minister that profiles of innocent people will in fact be retained.

The Minister added that the information watchdog had agreed that such details could be kept by forensic science laboratories without identification and would be "considered to have been deleted".