Select Committee on Home Affairs Written Evidence

Further supplementary memorandum submitted by the Home Office

  Mr Salter asked a question about the debate on the retention and use of DNA data in relation to the current review of the Police and Criminal Evidence Act (PACE). I thought that I should clarify the position in relation to the timescales involved. As I indicated, we are aiming to launch the final public consultation in relation to the PACE Review in the Spring. However, I should add that, as you may know, there is a case currently under consideration by the ECtHR (S and Marper v United Kingdom) in which the applicants are challenging the policy of retaining fingerprints and DNA from those acquitted or where no further action was taken. The hearing took place in February. While timing of the Judgement is a matter for the court, I understand that it is not expected before the Summer. We will need to consider future policy in this area in the light of that Judgement, so we will not be putting forward proposals in this area when we consult on the PACE Review in the Spring. Instead, we will be setting out proposals on retention of biometric data in a separate consultation exercise in the light of the ECtHR Judgement and comments received on this issue in response to the PACE Review process.

4 April 2008

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