UK MPs to vote on joining European biometric, DNA database
30 November 2015 10:35 GMT

UK parliamentarians are due to vote on the country joining a European Union DNA and biometric database before Christmas.

The MPs face a choice of opting into a European fast-track scheme to share police DNA and fingerprint databases.

Conservative Eurosceptic MPs have previously blocked Britain’s participation in the European police data-sharing scheme.

Home Secretary Theresa May has said she hopes the terrorist attacks in Paris in November will underline the case for Britain’s participation, reports The Guardian

A previous pilot, in which DNA samples from the crime scenes of 2,513 unsolved British murders, rapes and burglaries were automatically checked against European police databases in France, Germany and the Netherlands, revealed 73 potential suspects.

The system, designed as part of the 2007 Prum convention, is linked to databases that store five million fingerprints, DNA samples and car registration records held across Europe. The Prüm Convention aims to improve cross-border police cooperation between the member states of the European Union (EU).

The Prüm system promises a mandatory response time of 10 seconds for an automated number plate check, 15 minutes for a DNA check, and 24 hours for a fingerprint match.

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