Police resources

MQT on 2013-05-22
Session date: 
May 22, 2013
Question By: 
Roger Evans
GLA Conservatives
Asked Of: 
The Mayor


My constituent recently managed to remove his DNA from the police's database after a long, legal battle. How much did the Met Police spend on fighting cases around the retention of DNA in the last year?


Answer for Police resources

Answer for Police resources

Answered By: 
The Mayor

Boris Johnson (Mayor of London): Yes. Roger, thanks. I very much welcome the changes by Government, which mean that under the Protection of Freedoms Act, innocent people who have their data stored can now retrieve that DNA and I am glad that your constituent was finally able to achieve that.

Roger Evans (Deputy Chair): All right, the only problem is that my constituent had to win a legal battle against the Metropolitan Police Service to be able to achieve it, Mr Mayor. You mentioned the early deletion procedure. Why is it still such a long process; it took my constituent four years; that is hardly early.

Boris Johnson (Mayor of London): As I said, the new law has only just come in, so I am afraid he was not able to benefit from that legal change.

Roger Evans (Deputy Chair): Yes, I am pleased you mentioned the new law actually, Protections of Freedoms Act 2012 is a good piece of Libertarian Coalition Conservative Lib Dem legislation but it will make a difference (hopefully a positive difference) to the way the Metropolitan Police Service conduct themselves. What steps are being taken to make sure that the Metropolitan Police Service will co-operate with the DNA and fingerprint element of the Protection of Freedoms Act?

Boris Johnson (Mayor of London): They will be under a legal compulsion to do so, and under the Protection of Freedoms Act they will have to comply.

Roger Evans (Deputy Chair): Yes, but our experience is that it is not just going to happen unfortunately. Do you have a task force at the Metropolitan Police Service who are looking at the impact of the new law and what they need to do? Is it something that the MOPAC will be taking and interest in at a MOPAC Challenge Meeting, for example?

Boris Johnson (Mayor of London): I am not aware of large numbers of people seeking to (perhaps they are, I just do not know) make use of the Protection of Freedoms Act and I do not know what resource the Metropolitan Police Service needs to allocate to that. I am more than happy to find out and get back to you.

Roger Evans (Deputy Chair): Yes, I do not know the numbers either, but I am sure you would agree with me, Mr Mayor, that even if it was only one it would be a priority to make sure the legislation was complied with.

Boris Johnson (Mayor of London): Yes, as I say, the only case I am aware of is your constituent's case and obviously he has now benefited from that; I do not know whether he was able to get his DNA back before the law came in, but people in his position now have that protection.