I wrote immediately to the Home Secretary, Jaqui Lait MP at the time, and had an answer from a junior Minister five weeks later, referring to the procedure for getting the samples destroyed. To cut a long story short, it took me 14 months and a great deal of correspondence, not to mention telephone calls, to get an official letter saying that Mr A's samples had been destroyed, though Mr A has a clean record.
Thursday, February 04, 2010
On December 5, 2008, I was asked to take up the case of a British citizen Mr A who was detained by the police at Heathrow and required to give a sample of his DNA and to have his fingerprints taken. Just before that the European Court of Human Rights had ruled, in the case of S and Marper, that the indefinite retention by the authorities of biometric samples taken under the Police and Criminal Evidence Act from persons with no criminal record is unlawful. Mr A's samples were taken under Schedule 7 of the Terrorism Act 2000 but the principle is the same.