Sunday, March 18, 2007

Police Officer's views on fingerprinting children

Over on the School Governors Forum the discussion regarding using biometric systems in schools continues, now 11 pages long, with this recent comment posted by a Police Fingerprint Officer of 15+ years.

His post is quite extensive and is well worth a read. On the area of consent he has this to say:

As to consent, if you have not been asked explicitly for your signed consent to allow your child's prints to be taken, kick up a huge stink immediately. Even arrested persons are asked to sign consent to their prints being taken - they can be taken by force if not consented to but this is a very rare occurrence.Victims of crime etc can refuse to provide their prints for 'elimination purposes' (legitimate access etc) and that's it, they don't get taken...

...I would assume that before printing kids (especially under 10 - age of criminal responsibility) schools would have to provide a detailed and explicit set of guides, rules and exceptions for what purposes prints are taken, how and where they will be stored and a policy for their eventual destruction. Criminal prints have this so innocent persons should be at least as well governed. If this hasn't happened, as governors, make sure it does.

Contact the police for advice, all forces have lawyers to scrutinise the legality of new and emerging issues like this.

The forum is run "by governors for governors".

1 comment:

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