DNA profiles of innocent people will continue to be held for up to 12 years on a database used to fight crime, under Government plans.
The announcement is a compromise, in response to a ruling by the European Court last year which said holding details of people who had not broken the law was a violation of their human rights.
The man who took the Government to the European Court was Michael Marper, a 49-year-old from Sheffield.
His DNA was taken by police in 2001 when he was arrested and charged with harassing his partner. The case was later dropped after the couple settled their differences and got back together. The court in Strasbourg ruled in his favour last December.
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Speaking exclusively to Sky News, Mr Marper said the policy of retaining the DNA of innocent people was wrong.
“It was an invasion of privacy, I was offended,” he said.
“They’d taken my rights away and I wasn’t going to let them do that.
“If people get arrested for assault then, yes, their DNA should be taken. But if it goes to court, and it fails, they should be taken off… that way there’ll be no innocent people on the database.”
Although Mr Marper’s details have now been removed, hundreds of thousands of other people in his position will have to wait far longer for their own details to be deleted.