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Biometrics: Databases

Volume 461: debated on Tuesday 19 June 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many records are held on the National DNA database, broken down by reason for their inclusion; and how many of those records are of individuals who (i) were not charged and (ii) were charged and found not guilty of an offence. (143118)

As of 10 June 2007, there were an estimated 3,976,090 individuals on the National DNA Database (NDNAD).

The purpose of the National DNA Database is to hold a record of a person’s DNA which can be matched against DNA taken from crime scenes. It does not hold data on arrests, charges and convictions—that is held on the police national computer (PNC). Current information on the number of individuals who were not charged, or charged and not found guilty, could be obtained only at disproportionate cost by cross-searching the NDNAD profiles against records held on PNC.

However, information is available from a cross-searching exercise carried out on the police national computer on 14 July 2006. This showed that at that date, 79.3 per cent. of those on the NDNAD who also had an entry on PNC had a conviction or a caution (ie a criminal record). The remaining 20.7 per cent. are persons who have been arrested for a recordable offence where no further action was taken; persons who have been charged with a recordable offence where proceedings are ongoing; and persons under 18 who have a formal warning or reprimand recorded on PNC.