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DNA Samples (182A/24)


The Biometrics and Surveillance Camera Commissioner’s annual report 2022 to 2023 (published 24/1/24) states that police forces lost 2081 DNA samples in 2022/23 (para.53):

1. Please provide the number of DNA samples West Midlands Police lost in 2022/23.

Paragraph 50 states:

’50. Failure to seal the bag correctly again features highly as an issue, rising from 953 occasions in the last reporting year to 1214 to this year…’

2. Please provide the number of failures attributed to incorrectly sealed bags recorded by West Midlands Police in 2022/23.


1. 127* samples – please note this is less than 1% of all DNA samples taken.

*NB – The data used to obtain the amount of ‘Lost’ samples is taken from the number of samples that have been entered onto a police system by staff but have not yet been received in the Forensic Service Department.

2. 4 PACE samples were failed in force due to the inner bag being poorly or incorrectly sealed.

Every effort is made to ensure that the figures presented are accurate and complete. However, it is important to note that these data have been extracted from a number of data sources used by forces for police purposes. The detail collected to respond specifically to your request is subject to the inaccuracies inherent in any large scale recording system. As a consequence, care should be taken to ensure data collection processes and their inevitable limitations are taken into account when interpreting those data.

The figures provided therefore are our best interpretation of relevance of data to your request, but you should be aware that the collation of figures for ad hoc requests may have limitations and this should be taken into account when those data are used.

If you decide to write an article / use the enclosed data we would ask you to take into consideration the factors highlighted in this document so as to not mislead members of the public or official bodies, or misrepresent the relevance of the whole or any part of this disclosed material.


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