18.05.11 - Supreme court decides that the current police policy for keeping the DNA profile and fingerprints of innocent people is unlawful

 

In a test case, on 18th May 2011 the Supreme Court has ruled that the current police policy for keeping the DNA profile and fingerprints of innocent people is unlawful. In the case of R (on the application of GC) (FC) (Appellant) v Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis (Respondent) [2011] UKSC 21, where C was represented by Stephen Lodge of Public Law Solicitors, the Supreme Court has ruled that the present Association of Chief Police Officers guidelines on removal of DNA, fingerprints and PNC records (“the ACPO Guidelines”) are unlawful as they are incompatible with Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights and the Human Rights Act 1998.

The government and the police will now need to introduce a revised system to decide whether an individual such as C who has not been found guilty of any crime and is of good character should be entitled to require the police to delete his DNA and finger prints. Draft legislation is currently before Parliament in the Protection of Freedoms Bill.

The full judgment is at http://www.supremecourt.gov.uk/docs/UKSC_2010_0173_JudgmentV2.pdf