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Last Updated: Wednesday, 20 June 2007, 13:52 GMT 14:52 UK
Innocent man's DNA profile stored
Jeffrey Orchard
Jeffrey Orchard's DNA profile was taken at Haverfordwest
A 72-year-old former merchant seaman wrongly arrested for criminal damage to a car is angry his DNA profile will not be removed from the police database.

Jeffrey Orchard, of Haverfordwest, Pembrokeshire, had his fingerprints, photograph and DNA taken, but was cleared before the case reached court.

Conservative Preseli Pembrokeshire MP Stephen Crabb has now asked for clarity on how DNA samples are stored.

Dyfed-Powys Police said it was considering its response.

Mr Orchard said he was arrested on suspicion of causing criminal damage in April 2006.

He said an officer called at his house at Merlins Bridge and asked him to attend Haverfordwest Police Station a few days later.

"They took my fingerprints, palmprints, DNA and a photograph," he said.

"I was released and later they said I did not need to return as someone else had done it.

I think many reasonable people would agree that a pensioner who was wrongfully arrested over an incident should not have a lasting record created on the national database
Stephen Crabb MP

"I don't blame the officer - he was only doing his job - and later I received an apology.

"But they have said they are keeping the DNA - it annoys me because I had not done anything."

His case has been taken up by Mr Crabb, who said he had twice asked the force to use its discretionary powers to remove Mr Orchard's DNA profile from the database but without success.

Mr Crabb said: "DNA profiles can be a powerful tool in the fight against crime but a careful balance needs to be struck.

"Maintaining public support for new policing techniques like DNA profiling requires that the police show sensitivity and flexibility in the way data is collected and stored.

"I think many reasonable people would agree that a pensioner who was wrongfully arrested over an incident should not have a lasting record created on the national database."

Mr Crabb said the Dyfed-Powys force had told him only in very rare cases could chief officers use their discretion to remove details.

But he said he had obtained figures from the Home Office showing that in 2005 21,661 DNA profiles were deleted from the DNA database and in the first half of 2006 more than 8,860 cases were erased.

Dyfed-Powys Police said it was considering its response.


SEE ALSO
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17 May 07 |  UK Politics
PM champions new DNA technology
23 Oct 06 |  UK Politics

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