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Genetics: Databases

Volume 469: debated on Monday 10 December 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many people have provided a sample for the DNA database (a) following arrest and (b) voluntarily to eliminate themselves from suspicion of involvement in an offence. (164664)

There were an estimated 4,188,033 persons with a DNA profile retained on the national DNA database (NDNAD) on 31 October 2007. Of these, approximately 4,165,300 had provided a DNA sample following arrest and 22,700 had provided a sample voluntarily. These figures are for the whole NDNAD and cover persons sampled by police forces in England, Wales, Scotland, Northern Ireland and by other UK forces such as the Channel Islands.

Comparable data for forces in England and Wales are as follows.

Approximately 3,916,500 persons with a DNA profile retained on the NDNAD had provided a sample following arrest by police forces in England and Wales; and 21,600 persons provided a sample voluntarily for forces in England and Wales. The number of persons on the database is approximately 13.7 per cent. fewer than the number of subject sample profiles. It is currently estimated that 13.7 per cent. of DNA profiles held on the NDNAD are replicates, i.e. that a profile for a person has been loaded on more than one occasion (one reason for this is that the person gave different names, or different versions of their name, on separate arrests). The presence of these replicate profiles on the NDNAD does not impact on the effectiveness and integrity of the database. Nonetheless, a long-term exercise is under way to identify issues associated with the removal of all such redundant replicate profiles.