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Genetics: Databases

Volume 461: debated on Friday 15 June 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many (a) adults and (b) children resident in Northern Ireland appear on the national DNA database; how many do not have any convictions or cautions in each case; and if he will make a statement. (140159)

I have been asked to reply.

Responsibility for the maintenance and development of the national DNA database lies with the Home Office, however I am advised that the total number of subject sample profiles currently retained on the National DNA database which were taken by the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) is 39,055. These are categorised as follows:

Samples taken from children (those aged under 18)—3,355

Samples taken from adults (those aged 18 and over)—35,700.

The aforementioned figures relate to the number of subject sample profiles retained and not the number of individuals from whom samples have been taken, as DNA samples have been taken from some individuals on more than one occasion. The National DNA database does not hold information on a person’s address, which means that a sample taken by the PSNI will not necessarily relate to a person resident in Northern Ireland.

Information on convictions and cautions is not held on the national database and it is therefore not possible to provide a breakdown against DNA samples retained.