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DNA samples (FOI)

DNA samples (FOI)

Produced by the Freedom of Information office
Authored by Government of Jersey and published on 02 April 2019.
Prepared internally, no external costs.


On the subject of States of Jersey Police Scientific Services:


I would like to know how many DNA Samples the States of Jersey Police have submitted to the U.K. National DNA Database since inception in 1995?


How long DNA samples submitted by the States of Jersey Police remain on the U.K. National DNA Database before eradication?


I would also like to know how long the States of Jersey Police hold similar information on locally obtained Fingerprints;


Again how long they are held for reference before eradication?


A to D 

Police forces from the UK, the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man, submit DNA samples to the UK National DNA Database (NDNAD) for a number of different reasons.

When charged with a recordable offence, the suspects DNA will be sent to be recorded on the database. This will remain on the database indefinitely. This process is the same for fingerprints. These are retained to prove it was that individual who was charged at that time for that offence. These records are also used to search against the national database and any outstanding crimes where fingerprints or DNA were recovered.

If an individual is found not guilty after charge, both fingerprints and DNA records are now retained for a minimum of three years. Information on the new limitations is available via the below link.

Protection of Freedoms Act 2012: DNA and fingerprint provisions (January 2019)

DNA and fingerprints may also be taken from a victim or other person who had legitimate access to the scene of a crime. These are used for elimination purposes, to differentiate between suspects and those samples legitimately at the scene. These are destroyed after comparison.

Jersey does not retain fingerprints or DNA taken in the above circumstances.

Fingerprints and DNA may also be obtained from a suspect under certain circumstances, to help prove or disprove their involvement in a case. These will be retained as evidence in the case but will not be retained on the NDNAD or fingerprint database IDENT.

Jersey will retain fingerprints found at the scene of a crime and material that may contain DNA of a suspect if no match is found on either data base. These samples are of persons unknown but may assist in solving a serious crime at some future date. These are held for varying time spans dependant on the seriousness of the case. Samples obtained from a murder scene for example, would be retained forever or until the case is solved.

It is not possible to give a figure for the total number of DNA samples sent to be sampled without reviewing each case individually. This would take longer than is permitting to complete Freedom of Information requests.

The States of Jersey Police have sent over 1500 DNA samples to be retained on the NDNAD following the charge of an individual since 2010. Figures before this date are not readily available.

Articles applied

Article 16 A scheduled public authority may refuse to supply information if cost excessive

(1) A scheduled public authority that has been requested to supply information may refuse to supply the information if it estimates that the cost of doing so would exceed an amount determined in the manner prescribed by Regulations.

Regulation 2 (1) of the Freedom of Information (Costs) (Jersey) Regulations 2014 allows an authority to refuse a request for information where the estimated cost of dealing with the request would exceed the specified amount of the cost limit of £500. This is the estimated cost of one person spending 12.5 working hours in determining whether the department holds the information, locating, retrieving and extracting the information.

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