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Criminal Justice and Police Act 2001

Section 82: Restrictions on use and destruction of fingerprints and samples

245.Subsection (2) removes the obligation to destroy fingerprints and samples when the individual is cleared of the offence for which they were taken or a decision is made not to prosecute. The obligation to destroy is replaced by a rule to the effect that any fingerprints or samples retained can only be used for the purposes related to the prevention and detection of crime, the investigation of any offence or the conduct of any prosecution. The term “use” includes retaining fingerprints and information derived from samples on databases that will allow speculative searches. Thus if a match is established between an individual who has been cleared of an offence at a subsequent crime scene the police are able to use this information in the investigation of the crime.

246.Subsection (3) and (4) have the effect that if a person, who is not a suspect, provides a sample or fingerprints voluntarily e.g. for the purposes of elimination, there is no obligation for him to allow his samples or fingerprints to be retained or used other than for the purpose for which they were taken. He will be asked whether he wishes to consent to their retention and use. Where consent is not given the fingerprints or samples must be destroyed and the information derived from them can not be used in evidence against the person concerned or for the purposes of investigation of any offence.

247.Subsection (5) preserves the existing gateway in the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999 for disclosure of police information to the Secretary of State for Home Affairs, for use for immigration purposes.

248.Subsection (6) will allow all fingerprints samples that have already been taken on suspicion of involvement in a crime to be retained and used once the section is in force.

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