Forensic Science

Home Department written question – answered on 11th February 2004.

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Photo of Mr Harold Best Mr Harold Best Labour, Leeds North West

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will make a statement on the storage of DNA samples by the Forensic Science Service.

Photo of Hazel Blears Hazel Blears Minister of State (Home Office) (Policing, Security and Community Safety)

The laboratories that analyse DNA samples, including those within the Forensic Science Service, are also responsible for their retention, integrity, security and, where appropriate, their destruction. The conditions under which these laboratories store such samples must fulfil the requirements of the International Quality Standard ISO 17025 and the Data Protection Act 1998.

In addition, it is a specific requirement of the Custodian of the National DNA Database that DNA samples taken for entry on to the Database are kept in a managed storage system at a temperature below -15oC in access-controlled, physically secure accommodation. Laboratories are required to undertake periodic monitoring of the samples and their compliance with the International Quality Standard ISO 17025 is independently audited at least annually by the United Kingdom Accreditation Service.

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