Removal of Fingerprint/DNA and Police National Computer (PNC) Records
When a person is arrested for an offence the police will routinely take samples of DNA and fingerprints (collectively known as biometric information). They will be kept on the National DNA Database (NDNAD) and the National Fingerprint Database (IDENT1). A record of your arrest and what happens thereafter will also be kept on the Police National Computer (PNC).
The Protection of Freedom Act 2012 allows the police to retain your biometric information if you are convicted of an offence, including an out of court disposal, for example, a caution or Penalty Notice for Disorder (PND). The legislation also identifies occasions where biometric information will be automatically deleted from police systems without the requirement for any application to be made.
I was arrested but not charged by the police. Will the police keep my DNA and a record of my arrest?
If you are arrested but not charged with a minor offence and do not have any previous convictions then your fingerprints/DNA will be automatically deleted at the conclusion of the investigation, without any action required by you. However a record of your arrest will still remain on PNC and an application for removal of this will need to be made under the Record Deletion Process.
If you are arrested but not charged for a qualifying offence (a more serious offence) then again your DNA/fingerprints should automatically be deleted unless you have any previous convictions. Again, a record of your arrest will still remain on PNC and an application for removal of this will need to be made under the Record Deletion Process.
However if you do have any previous convictions the information will be retained for a period of 3 years. The police can also make an application to the Biometrics Commissioner to retain your information for a period of three years and you will then not be able to use the Record Deletion Process.
I was found Not Guilty at Court. Can I apply to have my DNA/Fingerprints removed?
If you are arrested and charged by the police but subsequently not convicted then you may apply for the deletion of your biometric data and PNC records if you have no previous convictions (for some minor offences the data will be automatically deleted). You will need to be able to satisfy the necessary grounds for such application. If your application is successful records of fingerprints will be deleted from IDENT1 and your DNA profile will be deleted from NDNAD together with the associated PNC record.
I was given a Penalty Notice for Disorder (PND). Can I apply to have my DNA removed?
If you were given a Penalty Notice for Disorder (PND) then this is classed as a conviction and so your biometric information would ordinarily be retained for a period of two years. However, it is possible to make an application for your fingerprints/DNA to be removed if you fit the necessary grounds for making such an application.
Making an application – Record Deletion Process
Olliers Solicitors are able to assess whether you meet the criteria for an application of deletion of your PNC record and/or biometric information and make such application for you for a low fixed fee. If you do fit the criteria for an application then specialist advice should be sought as you would need to be able to demonstrate that you meet the necessary grounds and evidence the same. We have successfully applied for the deletion of biometric data on behalf of numerous clients who understandably do not wish for the same to be retained when they have never been convicted of a crime.