A recent Supreme Court ruling has confirmed that the police’s policy of keeping innocent people’s DNA after they have been investigated and cleared of an offence is unlawful.
The BBC reported that the UK Supreme Court found by a 5-2 majority that the police’s policy was incompatible with a 2008 European Court of Human Rights decision.
The fact that it has taken 3 years to follow on from our European neighbours is shameful. For several years now I have been advising innocent people that the only way to have their fingerprints etc destroyed is via the Association of Chief Police Officers exceptional guidelines route. Unfortunately, this was fraught with uncertainty as it was entirely discretionary with no right of appeal.
As the Supreme Court have now found those guidelines unlawful, which in my opinion is the right decision, innocent people who have been told in the past that their DNA will be kept now have a right to challenge the police’s stance.
I expect that actions against the police solicitors like me will be very busy in the coming months assisting people to have their DNA information removed from the database, and their right to privacy restored.