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Requests seeking early deletion of biometric data

An individual who has had their Fingerprints and DNA taken by the Police Service of Northern Ireland under the provisions in the Police and Criminal Evidence (Northern Ireland) Order 1989 (PACE) may apply to have their PACE biometrics deleted from local and national databases where there are grounds to do so.

Applications for early deletion will be considered by the Police Service of Northern Ireland Biometrics Ratification Committee.

The scope of the Biometrics Ratification Committee is limited to reviewing the retention or deletion of the applicants PACE DNA samples, DNA profile derived from any sample, fingerprints, palm prints and any custody photographic images.

The Biometrics Ratification Committee cannot consider applications for the deletion of an individual’s criminal history and criminal conviction information or any other data held by Police Service of Northern Ireland or disclosed by Police Service of Northern Ireland to other bodies who can lawfully seek disclosure of such data, e.g. Access NI. Where the BRC approves the early deletion of an individual’s biometrics, this will not amend that individual’s criminal record.

Find out more information on enacting other rights under the Data Protection legislation.

Applications for biometric early deletion will be considered based on a limited number of criteria.

Grounds for Applications for Early Deletion
Unlawfully Taken Where an individual considers that their fingerprints and DNA were taken unlawfully.
No Crime Where it is established that no crime has been committed. It should be noted that being acquitted or found ‘Not Guilty’ at Court does not automatically mean that no crime was committed as the PPS would have felt that there was enough evidence in the first instance to bring charges.
Proven Alibi Where there is corroborative evidence that the individual has a proven alibi and as a result they are eliminated from the enquiry after being arrested. Taking into account other lawful reasons to retain.
Incorrect Disposal Where the disposal options applied by the police following an arrest are found to have been administered incorrectly. 
Unlawful Arrest The taking of fingerprints or a DNA profile which was derived from a sample taken from a person in connection with an arrest which was unlawful.
Mistaken Identity Where an individual’s fingerprints and DNA were taken as a result of mistaken identity.
Judicial Recommendation If, in the course of court proceedings, a Magistrate or Judge makes a recommendation that an individual’s fingerprints and DNA should be deleted.
Another person convicted of the offence If there is the conviction of another person for the offence then the BRC may wish to consider the deletion of the biometric information, providing there is no possibility of there being more than one offender.