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Explanatory Memorandum to Criminal Justice (Northern Ireland) Order 2004

Taking fingerprints without consent

14.Article 7 extends the circumstances in which police may take a person’s fingerprints without consent to include taking fingerprints from a person arrested for a recordable offence and detained in a police station.

15.The existing requirement to give a person whose fingerprints are taken without consent reasons for doing so and for recording the reason as soon as practical applies to the new power.

16.Speculative searches of fingerprint records will to prevent persons who come into police custody and who may be wanted on a warrant or for questioning on other matters from avoiding detection by giving a false name and address. The police will be able to confirm a person’s identity whist he is still in police detention if his fingerprints have been taken previously.

17.It will also assist in enabling violent people to be identified more quickly and dealt with more effectively.

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