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Genetics: Databases

Volume 463: debated on Monday 1 October 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what percentage of individuals on the DNA database are under 16; and if she will make a statement. (155258)

[holding answer 12 September 2007]: On 10 September 2007, 3.38 per cent. of persons on the National DNA Database were currently aged under 16. This figure represents persons sampled by police forces in England and Wales only, and includes some persons who provided a DNA profile voluntarily.

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what the annual cost was of (a) storing and (b) processing (i) DNA samples and (ii) DNA profiles taken for the National DNA Database in each year since 2000. (155342)

[holding answer 12 September 2007]: Cost figures for the storage of DNA samples are not centrally available. The costs for retaining DNA samples fall to individual police forces and are dependent on the contractual agreement between the force and the forensic supplier. This information is commercially confidential. The costs of retaining DNA profiles on the National DNA Database are essentially the costs of running and operating the database. These are set out in the National DNA Database Annual Reports for the years 2002-03 to 2005-06, copies of which are available in the House of Commons Library. The Annual Report for 2002-03 was the first annual report produced; and no information is available for the years 2000-01 and 2001-02. The costs of processing DNA samples for the DNA Database are available for the years 2000-01 to 2005-06 and are set out in the following table. In 2006-07, the Home Office ceased the payment of a separate specific grant for funding DNA activity.

DNA sample processing costs (£m)

2000-01

32.6

2001-02

45.4

2002-03

51.5

2003-04

47.0

2004-05

46.3

2005-06

148.6

1 The data for 2005-06 is DNA Expansion Programme funding only. It covers the processing costs of suspect offender samples and crime scene samples; and also includes force expenditure on additional forensic staff, vehicles and equipment. A separate figure for processing costs alone is not currently available. Note: The data for years 2000-01 to 2004-05 includes DNA Expansion Programme expenditure and expenditure from force budgets. It covers the processing costs of suspect offender samples and crime scene samples.