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Genetics: Databases

Volume 476: debated on Monday 2 June 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many DNA samples were stored on the national DNA database at the end of each year since the database was created. (191172)

It is not possible to give the total number of profiles on the database at the end of each year, however, the table shows the number of profiles added to the National DNA Database (NDNAD) by English and Welsh police forces in each year since its inception. The numbers cannot be added to give the total number of profiles on the NDNAD, as some profiles will have been removed throughout each year.

It should be noted that the number of subject profiles held on the database is not the same as the number of individuals with a profile on the database. As it is possible for a profile to be loaded onto the NDNAD on more than one occasion, some profiles held on the NDNAD are replicates. This can occur, for example, if the person provided different names, or different versions of their name, on separate arrests, or because profiles are upgraded.

Crime scene profiles added

Subject profiles added

1995-96

1,872

32,999

1996-97

5,022

78,899

1997-98

12,546

123,200

1998-99

12,720

227,624

1999-2000

17,116

191,173

2000-01

27,259

373,496

2001-02

39,425

470,016

2002-03

59,265

444,427

2003-04

58,385

431,771

2004-05

57,024

480,337

2005-06

66,499

625,859

2006-07

52,763

667,747

2007-08

48,055

541 ,920

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many crimes with a DNA match to the Scottish DNA database resulted in (a) prosecution and (b) conviction in each year since 1998. (205597)

The Home Office does not hold the information requested as this is a devolved matter for the Scottish Executive.

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many crimes with a DNA match to the Scottish DNA database resulted in (a) a direct and (b) an indirect police detection in England and Wales in each year since 1998. (205598)

The Home Office does not hold the information requested as this is a devolved matter for the Scottish Executive.

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) what the cost was of removing DNA samples from the National DNA database in each year since 1995; (205636)

(2) what the cost was of removing one individual's DNA sample from the National DNA database in the most recent period for which figures are available.

[holding answer 15 May 2008]: Decisions on the removal of DNA profiles from the National DNA Database (NDNAD), and the destruction of the DNA sample, rest with the chief officer of the police force which took the sample. The chief officer may consult the Association of Chief Police Officers Criminal Record Office (ACPO CRO), a specialist unit which provides advice on the removal of DNA and fingerprint records, before making a decision. If a chief officer decides that a DNA profile should be removed from the NDNAD, they will instruct the NDNAD Custodian that the profile be removed and the DNA sample destroyed.

There will be some associated costs arising for the police force which took the sample; for the ACPO CRO, if the request is referred to them for advice; for the NDNAD; and for the forensic supplier laboratory where the sample is stored. It is not possible to disaggregate the costs of removing profiles and samples from general NDNAD service delivery costs or the general administrative costs of the other organisations involved.

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what the annual cost was of retaining one individual DNA sample on the National DNA database in the most recent period for which figures are available. (205640)

[holding answer 15 May 2008]: A DNA sample is biological material containing cells with a person's DNA, whereas a DNA profile is a numerical sequence stored on the NDNAD, which is an information technology system. A subject sample is taken from an arrested person, usually by means of a swab which picks up cells from the inside of the cheek. A crime scene sample is one retrieved from material at a crime scene, for example blood, semen or saliva. A DNA sample is analysed to produce a DNA profile by an accredited supplier of forensic science services. A DNA profile is a numerical sequence, representing part of the DNA in the sample, which can be entered on the National DNA Database.

The costs of processing, and retaining, DNA samples fall to individual police forces. They vary depending on the contractual relationship between the police force and the forensic supplier, which is commercially confidential.

The cost of retaining DMA profiles is the cost of running the NDNAD Information Technology system. In the most recent year for which figures are available, 2006-07, this was £2,041,743. Dividing this figure by the number of subject and crime scene profiles held gives an average cost per profile of 45 pence for that year.

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many crimes with a DNA match to records in the Scottish DNA Database there were in Scotland in each year since 1998. (205642)

[holding answer 15 May 2008] The Home Office does not hold the information requested as this is a devolved matter for the Scottish Executive.

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) how many DNA profiles were on the national DNA database at the end of each financial year since 1994; (206169)

(2) how many individual DNA profiles were (a) added to and (b) removed from the national DNA database in each (i) month and (ii) financial year since 1994;

[holding answer 16 May 2008]: It is not possible to give the total number of profiles on the National DNA Database (NDNAD) at the end of each year, however, the table gives the number of profiles added to the NDNAD by English and Welsh police forces in each year since its inception. The numbers cannot be added to give the total number of profiles on the NDNAD, as some profiles will have been removed throughout each year.

It should be noted that the number of subject profiles held on the NDNAD is not the same as the number of individuals with a profile on the database. As it is possible for a profile to be loaded onto the NDNAD on more than one occasion, some profiles held on the NDNAD are replicates. This can occur, for example, if the person provided different names, or different versions of their name, on separate arrests, or because profiles are upgraded.

For figures on the number of removals from the NDNAD, I refer the hon. Member to the reply given to the hon. Member for Bury St. Edmunds (Mr. Ruffley) on 8 January 2008, Official Report, column 455W.

Crime scene profiles added

Subject profiles added

1995-96

1,872

32,999

1996-97

5,022

78,899

1997-98

12,546

123,200

1998-99

12,720

227,624

1999-2000

17,116

191,173

2000-01

27,259

373,496

2001-02

39,425

470,016

2002-03

59,265

444,427

2003-04

58,385

431,771

2004-05

57,024

480,337

2005-06

66,499

625,859

2006-07

52,763

667,747

2007-08

48,055

541,920