July 6, 2010
Police in Scotland will be able to collect and store the DNA of children as young as eight for the first time under a law just passed by the Scottish Parliament.
Children who commit sexual or violent offences can have their DNA and other forensic data collected and stored for three years. That can be extended by successive two-year periods by application to a sheriff, a spokesman for the Scottish government said.
The Criminal Justice and Licensing (Scotland) Act, which contains the measures, was passed last week by the Scottish Parliament and awaits Royal Assent.
The new powers relate only to children who are referred to a children’s hearing over allegations and either admit them or are found to have committed the acts complained of.
“The powers to retain DNA, fingerprints and other physical data from children, for a limited period, are new,” said the Scottish government spokesman. “The DNA can be taken from a child who is arrested or detained, referred to a children’s hearing and either the child (and a relevant adult who is responsible for that child) accepts that he or she committed a relevant sexual or violent offence or the matter is referred to a sheriff who finds this to be the case.
This article was posted: Tuesday, July 6, 2010 at 8:49 am