Select Committee on Science and Technology Written Evidence

Letter from the Association of Chief Police Officers in Scotland

  I refer to your letter dated 20 July 2000, which has been considered by members of the Association's Crime Standing Committee. The following is provided by way of a reply:

  1.  The police service across borders within the UK have national and local databases holding DNA profiles. As a consequence, there are collections of material for the creation of profiles relating to persons who may be subsequently convicted of criminal offences. Following conviction they are retained for comparison against crime scene stains.

  2.  The Genetic Databases are in existence to provide intelligence regarding the identification of suspects in relation to criminal acts. The funding is in place through the Criminal Justice System, although if a national database of all persons resident in the UK were available only comparison material would require to be analysed.

  3.  The Genetic Information relates to human DNA and is stored in secured systems and locations in accordance with rigid procedures.

  4.  The responsibilities of the police service are clearly defined in respect of Data Protection and Privacy and these are rigidly adhered to.

  5.  The main development in the future will be in relation to the quantities of material required for analysis with profiles held on databases.

  6.  What must be obtained is consistency in legal approach to ensure that comparison across borders is quickly and efficiently achieved.

Sir Roy Cameron
Chief Constable
Hon. Secretary

20 September 2000

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