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Broader police powers to harvest DNA – July 2019

Information about new powers for police to authorise taking DNA profile samples for people suspected of being involved in serious criminal offending.

Monday 1 July 2019 at 12:00 am

From 1 July 2019, a senior police officer can authorise a DNA profile sample (that is a sample of blood, hair, saliva or mouth scraping) to be taken from certain adults, or young people (aged between 15 and under 18), to generate a DNA profile if they are guilty or reasonably suspected of involvement in serious crimes. This definition of a DNA profile sample is broader than the existing definition of a 'forensic procedure' and will capture more offenders, suspects and accused. This new power is in addition to existing powers that police and courts have to require people to undergo a forensic procedure. 

The person must first be given the opportunity of agreeing to the sample being taken. 

This authorisation can apply to unsolved offences that happened before 1 July 2019, provided that court proceedings have not yet commenced. 

Where the person is under 18

The police must have formed a reasonable belief that the young person has committed at least one of a specific list of serious offences, including home invasion, armed robbery and sexual offences. 

See DNA profile samples.