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R (on the application of GC) v COMMISSIONER OF POLICE OF THE METROPOLIS : R (on the application of C) v COMMISSIONER OF POLICE OF THE METROPOLIS

Although the indefinite retention of the biometric data of all suspects breached individuals' rights under the European Convention on Human Rights 1950 art.8, the Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984 s.64(1A) could be read so as not to require indefinite retention, meaning that no declaration of incompatibility was required and the police guidelines which had implemented indefinite retention were unlawful.

23 May 2011

The appellants (C) appealed against a decision ((2010) EWHC 2225 (Admin), (2010) HRLR 34) to refuse their applications for judicial review of the indefinite retention of their biometric data by the respondent police commissioner. C had given biometric samples during police investigations. They were not convicted of any offence and they subsequently sought destruction of the samples. The commissioner refused their requests pursuant to the policy of the Association of Chief Police Officers to retain biometric samples for an indefinite period save in exceptional circumstances. That policy had been adopted following the introduction of the Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984 s.64(1A). The House of Lords had earlier decided in R (on the application of S) v Chief Constable of South Yorkshire (2004) UKHL 39, (2004) 1 WLR 2196 that such retention of data was compatible with the European Convention on Human Rights 1950 art.8. C issued proceedings on the ground that retention was incompatib...

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