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Elimination fingerprints and DNA

Dated: 31 Mar 2016

POLICY TITLE: Elimination Fingerprints and DNA – Police Personnel

OWNING DIRECTORATE: Major Crime and Intelligence

AUTHOR: Detective Inspector, Major Crime Support, Crime Department



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.

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.

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 (PED) 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 on Ident1 and the DNA profile onto the relevant elimination database 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 will be made to the Deputy Chief Constable via the Detective Chief Inspector, Integrity Unit.

Human Resources Department 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 Police Elimination Databases.

In respect of police staff, the DNA profile will only be used for the purposes of elimination of a specific crime stain, whereby there is a genuine belief that innocent contamination may have occurred.

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

Human Resources Department will notify the DNA Unit within the Fingerprint Bureau 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 Human Resources.


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

GROUPS AFFECTED: All police officers and police staff


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