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Date Responded 17 January 2018

Provision of information held by Northumbria Police made under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (the 'Act')

As you may be aware the purpose of the Act is to allow a general right of access to information held at the time of a request, by a Public Authority (including the Police), subject to certain limitations and exemptions.

You asked:

1. Please can you inform me of the process to removes ones personal biometric data(DNA, Fingerprints, other Police records) from Northumbria Police system.

To be clear this is for someone who has been subject to arrest and interview, but not charged or cautioned etc.

2. I would like to know how long this process takes and the cost involved.

3. How many requests you get each year, for the last 5 years.

4. I am interested to know, if Q1 is completed does this mean deletion from all other police force / national systems? 

In Response:

We have now had the opportunity to fully consider your request and I provide a response for your attention. 

Following receipt of your request, searches were conducted with the Information Management Unit Department of Northumbria Police.  I can confirm that the information you have requested is held by Northumbria Police. 

I am able to disclose the located information to you as follows. 

1. This information can be found on the Office of the Biometrics Commissioner’s website: https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/biometrics-commissioner.  To summarise however, if a person is arrested but not charged with an offence, then the deletion of their biometric data will commence 15 days after the decision to eliminate the individual from the inquiry or take no further action (NFA) against them.  This is driven by a disposal codes on the Police National Computer which will inform forces to destroy the respective fingerprints.  The PNC informs the National DNA Database (NDNAD) of the requirement to destroy the DNA profile. If however the individual has a previous conviction/caution or reprimand for a recordable offence then the biometric data will not be destroyed.  In such circumstance individuals can make a request for the removal of this data though ACRO Criminal Records Office, and forces will decide on a case by case basis whether to grant the request.

2. Typically the process for the removal of fingerprint records takes between 15 – 45 minutes per day depending on the number requiring destruction. We do not attribute a cost to this, it is absorbed into existing staff duties.  We cannot comment on the costs or time involved in the destruction of the DNA profile by the NDNAD.

3. No information held.  We do not keep a record of such requests.

4. Yes, once deleted the data is not retained elsewhere. 

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