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Anti-terrorism Control Orders: Biometrics

Volume 462: debated on Thursday 28 June 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department on what date he became aware that individuals subject to control orders cannot have their fingerprints and DNA taken by the police. (144963)

It is inaccurate to say the police cannot take fingerprints or DNA from individuals on control orders. Section 1 (3) of the Prevention of Terrorism Act 2005 allows for the imposition of any obligations that the Secretary of State or the court considers necessary for purposes connected with preventing or restricting involvement by that individual in terrorism-related activity. The Government could therefore make the provision of fingerprints or DNA an obligation under a control order, if it was considered necessary and proportionate to do so. Moreover, powers to take fingerprints are governed by other legislation, such as PACE. If, for example, an individual committed an offence while subject to a control order, fingerprints and DNA could be taken in the usual way.

The proposal for the forthcoming Counter-Terrorism Bill is to provide equivalent powers after a control order is served as currently apply when arrests are made under the Terrorism Act 2000 or the Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984. This will provide the same police powers to retain, store and use the DNA and fingerprints of individuals on control orders and will mean that the procedures and safeguards that generally apply, also apply in control order cases.