Our report on the DNA Database highlighted how the database has continued to grow in recent years, and that despite the passage of the Protection of Freedoms Act innocent people still have no timetable for when their DNA will be removed from the database.
We’re delighted to support GeneWatch’s ‘Reclaim your DNA’ campaign,which aims to bring about the swift removal of innocent people from the DNA database and the associated systems.
There are two ways to get involved. Firstly, write to your MP and ask them to write to the Home Secretary on your behalf.(You can find who your MP is here) We have drafted a letter to your MP for you to use that you can download here.
The three key questions you should ask are:
- When will your DNA and fingerprint records be removed from police databases;
- When will your DNA sample will be destroyed;
- When will new police guidance be issued requiring the removal of your record of arrest from the Police National Computer (PNC)
You should also write to the Chief Constable of the police force who took your sample. (We’ve produced a template letter here.) If you don’t know who the relevant Chief Constable is you can find the individual police force websites here.
Children and young people, or their parents, who were given a conviction, reprimand or final warning for a single minor offence more than three years ago can also ask these questions.
Note: the new law does not require the removal of records from adults who have accepted a caution from the police, and people arrested for serious offences can have their records retained for three years in the first instance, or a further two if there is approval by a Magistrate’s court. However you will be entitled to be notified that an application for retention has been made.