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Home Office still wants your DNA profile, and your PNC record

by David Mery

After facing opposition from all quarters to its initial plan to establish new rules to regulate the sampling and retention of DNA via secondary legislation, the Home Office belatedly introduced clauses about DNA in the Crime and Security Bill 2009-10. Opposition to a blank check for the Secretary of State was so predictable that introducing these clauses, among many other unrelated ones, close to a year after the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) ruling against the UK appear the result of deliberate delaying tactics. There's no date set yet for when the bill will progress to the second reading stage.

One change introduced in the bill got most of the attention: the proposition to retain DNA profiles of innocents for six years instead of 12. Another figure picked out of thin air with little justification. Missing in the bill is any mention about retention rules of the associated Police National Computer (PNC) records, and it would seem that the Home Office is now keen to hold on to these even when it will relent and delete DNA profiles, fingerprints and palm prints. Here are high level details about what's in store, extracted from the Explanatory notes accompanying the Crime and Security Bill 2009-10.

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