Britain’s biometrics commissioner in DNA warning
11 March 2016 14:55 GMT

A report by Britain’s biometrics commissioner has revealed that the fingerprints and DNA of at least 45 terror suspects had to be destroyed after police errors.

The report by Alastair MacGregor QC, the Commissioner for the Retention and Use of Biometric Material , also revealed that the police now have DNA profiles of 7,800 terrorism suspects.

MacGregor has found that the number of individuals whose DNA profiles and fingerprints are being logged on the little-known database as a result of counter-terrorism investigations is growing quickly, having risen from 6,500 identified individuals in October 2013 to 7,800 last year..

However, he also noted that police were "risking public safety" by failing to apply for extensions to hold DNA profiles of suspects who have not been convicted.

He notes serious concerns about the standalone national counter-terrorism police database, and also noted that the biometric details had to be destroyed in 450 or more other cases because their limited retention period had expired before a national security review could take place.

“The full scale and continuing nature of the problems caused by delays in the national security determination process have only recently become apparent and I have been assured that further work is being done as a matter of urgency to prevent such problems occurring again and to mitigate their consequences,” MacGregor says.

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