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Table 2 Criteria for the inclusion and removal of profiles in expansive group of countries

From: Forensic DNA databases in European countries: is size linked to performance?


Criteria for inclusion of profiles

Criteria for removal of profiles


Individuals suspected and/or convicted of a dangerous assaulta

Convicted: 5 years after death or at 80 years of age if the individual has not been forensically identified in the last 5 years; Minors: removed if s/he is not forensically identified in the previous three years; Acquitted suspects have to apply for removal and/or the authorities will decide if the acquitted suspect’s profile is no longer necessary.


Suspects and individuals convicted of crimes punishable by sentences of > 1 year and 6 months

Convicted offenders – 2 years after death or at 80 years of age; suspects – 10 years after acquittal, at 70 years of age, 2 years after death


Suspects and convicted offenders

Suspects and convicted offenders -10 years after death


Individuals suspected of crimes punishable with a sentence of > 6 months and offenders receiving sentences of > 3 years

Suspects – 1 year after acquittal (on the order of a legal officer) or 10 years after death; convicted offenders – 10 years after death


Suspects and convicted offenders – any crime

Convicted offenders – 75 years; suspects – 10 years after verdict, if acquitted


Suspects and convicted offenders – any crime – and those temporarily detained

100 years after inclusion or 10 years after the death of the suspect or convicted offender


Individuals detained for any crime

Suspects – deletion after acquittal or extension of retention period in cases of relevant sexual or violent offences; convicted offenders – indefinite retention


Suspects and convicted offenders – any crime

Convicted offenders – 100 years after the date of birth of the individual concerned; suspects – removal after acquittal

United Kingdom (England, Wales) b

Individuals detained for any recordable offence

Indefinite retention

  1. aIn Austria, as defined in Section 16 (2) of the Sicherheitspolizeigesetz [Security Police Act], serious crimes are understood to be any threat against a legal asset by committing a premeditated crime punishable by law. In addition to the type of crime, the profile of an individual may be included when “the police cite the nature of the crime or the 'personality’ of the respective individual as grounds for expecting them to reoffend” (Prainsack and Kitzberger 2009).
  2. bThe S. & Marper v. UK decision of the ECHR is reflected on the Protection of Freedoms Act 2012 in England and Wales, which will require all DNA samples to be destroyed within six months of being taken. It will still allow for speculative searches on the DNA profiles of non-convicted individuals, but eliminates their indefinite retention by establishing retention periods (until three years, plus two years if extended by court decision) differentiated according to the seriousness of the suspected offence. By October 2013, the Act will officially come into force.