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DNA: Databases

Volume 496: debated on Wednesday 15 July 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department pursuant to the answer of 2 June 2009, Official Report, column 359W, on DNA: databases, how many children aged under 10 years have had DNA samples taken with the consent of a parent or guardian in the last 12 months; and for how long on average such samples were retained. (278668)

[holding answer 8 June 2009]: A DNA sample may only be taken from a child under 10 with the consent of a parent or guardian. Such samples are taken from children aged under 10 for elimination purposes to assist in the investigation of an offence e.g. from children who are the victim of a crime or who had legitimate access to a crime scene. These samples are then destroyed and not put on the actual database. Information on the number of such samples taken and the average length of time for which they were retained is not held centrally.

The DNA profiles of all children aged under 10 taken by England and Wales police forces have been removed from the National DNA Database, and the database is monitored to ensure that this remains the case.