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Operation Harvest and DNA samples for historical offences

View profile for Mike Pemberton
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A recent news article concerning Operation Harvest highlights the importance of seeking legal advice in relation to unreasonable requests by the Police for Sensitive Personal Data.

Operation Harvest involves Police requesting DNA samples from people convicted of historical offences before it became standard procedure to obtain DNA on arrest.

The Manchester Evening News  has reported a case where an individual who was convicted of having a same sex relationship in the Army in 1983 has been required to provide a DNA sample under the Operation because of a change in the law in 2010  .

A requirement for personal data, here DNA with no consideration of relevance would appear to be challengeable under Human Rights legislation.

If you are required to provide a sample by the police under Operation Harvest, it is crucial to obtain timely legal advice on this so that steps can be taken to challenge the request and prevent the unwarranted entry of personal details on the DNA database.

By head of civil liberties unit, Mike Pemberton

  • Our Civil Liberties Unit can assist with this issue and can be contacted on 0844 488 9090