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Volume 447: debated on Tuesday 13 June 2006

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether (a) fingerprints and (b) DNA samples are taken from those who are deported from the UK. (75380)

It is not routine practice to fingerprint deportees under immigration powers, as the notice of intention to deport is often served by the prison service on behalf of the immigration service. However, fingerprints will be taken if the prisoner lodges a claim for asylum or as part of the re-documentation process. Fingerprints may also have been taken at an earlier stage if the deportee had been identified as an immigration offender or under police powers at the point of charging.

Immigration legislation does not give immigration or police officers the power to take DNA samples from individuals. However, where the Immigration Service is looking to prosecute an individual, we will consider asking the police to take DNA samples on an individual case basis in accordance with their powers under the Police and Criminal Evidence Act (PACE) 1984. Under provisions in PACE, police officers may take a DNA sample from any person arrested or charged in connection with a recordable offence.