Section 82 – Power to take fingerprints to establish identity of suspect
174.This section amends section 13 of the 1995 Act to give police officers the power to take fingerprints to verify the identity of someone suspected of having committed an offence and to establish if that person has committed any other offences. Constables will be able to use this power in any place, enabling them to take fingerprints outside a police station. The power will be used by officers to confirm the identity of a suspect by checking these fingerprints against records in existing databases. Subsection (2) of this section requires that fingerprints taken for these purposes must be destroyed as soon as they have been used. They cannot be retained by the police.
175.Subsection (6) amends section 13(6) of the 1995 Act and provides that it will be an offence for a person to refuse to allow a constable to take fingerprints. Subsection (8) inserts a new section 13(8) into the 1995 Act which provides that a device which is used for taking fingerprints must be approved by an order made by the Scottish Ministers. Such an order will not be subject to any parliamentary procedures.
176.A revised version of section 13 of the 1995 Act, as amended by this Act is contained at Annex B.