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Retention of Physical Material (1779A/21)


Q1: Is there a designated length of time for which West Midlands Police and laboratories you instruct, both internal and external, retain physical material gathered during police investigations in respect of convicted crimes? 

Q2: If there is a divergence of policy according to crime type, please provide clarification.   

(The phrase “physical material” above refers to all objects and items which are exhibited as part of both the “used material” at trial AND the “unused material”, not subsequently used at trial.)


Under section 21 of the Act, we are not required to provide information in response to a request if it is already reasonably accessible to you. The information you requested is available on the Forensic Capability Network (FCN) website at the following link:

NPCC Forensic Retention Guidance v1.0.pdf (


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