HC Deb 05 February 1948 vol 446 cc305-6W
68. Mr. P. Roberts

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department by what authority the police take the fingerprints of persons after being bound over under the Probation of Offenders Acts.

69. Mr. Sharp

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department to what extent the police have the right to take photographs and fingerprints of all people who are taken into custody; and whether these may be retained even when the charge is not proved.

Mr. Ede

Under the existing law the police have no authority to take fingerprints or photographs except with the consent of the individual concerned. Where a person is committed to prison, either to await trial or after conviction, his photograph and fingerprints may be taken by the prison authorities in pursuance of regulations made under Section 8 of the Penal Servitude Act, 1891. If the photograph and fingerprints of an untried prisoner who has not previously been convicted of crime are taken by the police or prison authorities and the individual is subsequently discharged or acquitted by the court, these records are forthwith destroyed or handed over to the person concerned.