A FIRE brigade union boss has called for a Bromsgrove firefighter’s DNA to be destroyed after he was found to be innocent of causing death by dangerous driving.

Mathew Repton was arrested by West Mercia Police on December 27, 2008.

Mr Repton had been on duty as a member of a crew from Bromsgrove Fire Station, who were called to an incident that morning at Junction 4a of the M5 and M42 motorway.

He attended as the driver of the appliance and parked between the hard shoulder and first lane in a position blocking the incident.

Shortly after the crew’s arrival a vehicle came along the east bound slip road, spun and collided with the rear and side of the fire appliance, killing one of the occupants in the car.

It was found Mr Repton could not have caused the collision through his driving, as he was not driving at the time.

The case was investigated by the Crown Prosecution Service who found no evidence to bring charges, and he was released.

At the time of his arrest, Mr Repton gave a sample and his DNA profile was loaded onto a national database, which has been kept ever since. He has written to Paul West, chief constable of West Mercia Constabulary, asking for him to order for the DNA sample to be destroyed, and profile removed.

Peter Hope, chairman of the Fire Brigades Union, has now written to the chief constable in support of the firefighter.

Mr Hope said: “He was released having been found innocent of any crime, and with his reputation upheld.

“Mathew has never been found guilty of the crime for which he was arrested, and yet through the retention of his DNA, he is being treated in the same way as someone who has.”

Last December, the European Court of Human Rights ruled that blanket retention of all suspects' DNA, was disproportionate.

A spokesman for West Mercia Police said: “Since 2004, DNA samples can be taken from anyone arrested for a recordable offence and detained in a police station.

“Parliament has decided that the intrusion on personal privacy is proportionate to the benefits that are gained and the DNA database is a vital tool in helping us detect more crime.

“The current position in England and Wales is that, at the time of the European Court of Human Rights judgment, it was made clear to all police forces that existing law on DNA retention remains in place while the Government consults on a legislative response.

“The police service believes it is vital the DNA database remains reasonable and proportionate and retains the full confidence of the public. We welcome public debate and look forward to new legislation coming forward speedily to address this issue.

“Individuals may make application to forces for their samples to be removed and this can be done when it is considered that the case is an exceptional one, at the discretion of the Chief Constable.

“It would be wrong for West Mercia Police to comment on individual cases that could identify those who are and are not on the DNA database. However we can confirm that the force has had contact with an individual about this matter and a decision will be communicated in due course.”