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Date: Thu 23 May 2013

Police Custody and Security Officers are fully authorised to take fingerprints and DNA samples - UNISON

The union that represents police staff said today that any problems in Tayside around fingerprint and DNA samples are a local issue.

George McIrvine, Unison police staff Scotland branch secretary, said: “There appears to be a local problem in Tayside around authorisation and training. While this needs to be resolved urgently, there is no issue about properly qualified and certified Police Custody and Security Officers  taking these samples.

“That is a normal part of their job, carried out across Scotland on a daily basis and that will continue to be the case.”

Dave Watson, Head of Bargaining and Campaigns, said: “Our members do a first class job working as PCSOs. The legal situation giving them the powers to take physical data is clear and is not affected by a local issue in Tayside.

“However, the Bill establishing the new single police service could have been improved, as we argued at the time. We suggested that the Chief Constable should have broader powers to authorise suitably qualified and trained police civilian staff to undertake a wider range of duties.

“Some people may currently be wishing that that advice had been taken.”


For information please contact:
George McIrvine, Unison police staff Scotland branch secretary, 07842 542 677
Dave Watson, Head of Bargaining and Campaigns, 07958 122 409
Fiona Montgomery, Communications Officer, 0141 342 2877 or 07508 877 000

Note to editors:

1. UNISON is Scotland’s largest trade union representing 160,000 members working in the public sector in Scotland, including police civilian staff.