Reclaim your DNA

The Protection of Freedoms Act requires innocent people's records to be removed from the National DNA database in England and Wales. In most cases this will be done automatically, rather than requiring you to write to the police.

The legal requirements in the Act came into force in October 2013.

In January 2014, the Home Office published the new rules for innocent people applying for early deletion of their DNA and fingerprints from police databases. These are mainly relevant to people arrested for serious offences who may have their DNA profiles and fingerprints retained for up to three years. You can read the Guidance and download an application form.

The Guidance does not cover deletion of Police National Computer records which continue to be dealt with under the old Exceptional Cases procedure. The Guidance suggests that in some cases the police will delete PNC records and other information when they delete DNA and fingerprint records, but there is no policy requiring them to do so.

If you are not sure whether you have a PNC record or not, or whether the police hold your DNA profile or fingerprints, you can make a subject access request. This now costs ten pounds. Information about whether or not the police hold your DNA profile and/or fingerprints is recorded in your PNC record.

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