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Elimination fingerprints and DNA

Dated: 3 July 2020

POLICY TITLE: Elimination Fingerprints and DNA – Police Personnel 

OWNING DIRECTORATE: Major Crime and Intelligence 

AUTHOR: Head of Forensic Services, Crime Department 

CONTACT DETAILS: 101 

EQUALITY IMPACT ASSESSMENT: Complete

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AIM OF POLICY: To obtain fingerprint impressions and DNA samples for elimination purposes from all police officers and front-line police staff.  

BENEFIT OF POLICY: The elimination of police personnel fingerprints and DNA at an early stage of an investigation, thus reducing time spent investigating legitimate contamination.  

REASON FOR POLICY: Speedy elimination of fingerprint and DNA evidence left at crime scenes by police personnel. 

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Biometric Vetting 

The Police Regulations 2003 allows the taking of fingerprints and DNA as a condition of appointment without breaching Article 8 of the Human Rights Act (HRA). 

Biometric vetting checks will be undertaken on those candidates who have reached the stage of being conditionally offered an appointment. Biometric vetting will apply to prospective Police Officers, Special Constables and relevant Police Staff. As part of the pre-employment checks, candidates will be required to attend a custody suite to have their DNA samples taken using a Police Elimination Database kit and fingerprints taken using Livescan. Fingerprints will be searched against local and national fingerprint databases on Ident1 and DNA against the National DNA Database (NDNAD). On appointment, fingerprints will be loaded onto the Police Elimination Database (PED) on Ident1 and the DNA profile onto the Central Elimination Database (CED) within the NDNAD.  

If unsuccessful in their application, the samples will be destroyed. 

Elimination Fingerprints 

All such impressions are securely stored within the Northumbria Police Fingerprint Bureau, separately from the main collection. All applications to use these impressions for any purpose other than elimination purposes will be made to the Deputy Chief Constable via the Professional Standards Department.  

People Acquisition, People Services will notify the Fingerprint Bureau whenever an individual leaves Northumbria Police. The Fingerprint Bureau will retrieve and destroy any elimination impressions held for the individual and will issue a certificate of destruction if requested.  

DNA Elimination Database 

The NDNAD stores all such profiles on a separate database (CED).  

In respect of police officers, special constables and police staff involved in any part of the forensic evidence process, the DNA profile will be continually checked against DNA profiles taken in accordance with the Police and Criminal Evidence (PACE) Act 1984(a) and profiles recovered from scenes of crime.  

People Acquisition, People Services will notify the DNA Unit whenever an individual leaves Northumbria Police. The DNA Unit will make arrangements with the NDNAD to have the profile destroyed, once twelve months has elapsed, as per Police Regulations. In the case of staff who transfer to another force, the DNA Unit will notify the NDNAD of the changes once notified by People Acquisition, People Services.  

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SOURCE DOCUMENT: Human Rights Act 1998. Data Protection Act 2018. and Home Office Circular 23/2005  

GROUPS AFFECTED: All police officers and police staff 

ACCESS AND DISCLOSURE RESTRICTIONS: None 

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