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Age of Criminal Responsibility (Scotland) Act 2019

Destruction of prints and samples

221.Unlike the provisions on prints and samples in the 1995 Act, where provision is made for retaining them after court proceedings have concluded, section 66 of the Act provides for prints and samples taken by virtue of an order under section 63 to be destroyed at the earliest opportunity.

222.This essentially means when either no further action is being taken in relation to the child’s behaviour or where that action – principally through the children’s hearings system – has come to a conclusion. For instance, if the constable concludes that no action should be taken, and that the matter should not be referred to the Principal Reporter under section 61 of the 2011 Act, the prints and samples must be destroyed.

223.On the other hand, if the matter is referred to the Principal Reporter, and the Principal Reporter determines under section 66(2) of the 2011 Act that a ground in section 67 of that Act applies and that a compulsory supervision order should be made in respect of the child, and refers the matter to a children’s hearing,(121) then the prints and samples will not be destroyed until the process put in train by that referral has come to a conclusion, for instance by the referral being discharged or by the children’s hearing deciding to make a compulsory supervision order.(122)

224.Section 71 makes equivalent provision in relation to the destruction of data and samples taken by virtue of section 59(1)(b) – that is, where the data or samples are taken from a child aged 12 or over with the child’s consent (in relation to behaviour that occurred when the child was aged under 12).


Under section 69(2) of the 2011 Act.


And once the period for any appeal has expired without an appeal being taken or, where an appeal is taken, once it has been disposed of.

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