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British police risk being overwhelmed with DNA and fingerprint requests from European Union countries if MPs decide to opt in to a controversial new database later this year, officials have warned.

A Home Office study discloses that police, prosecutors and the National Crime Agency (NCA) are likely to face a "high volume" of demands from foreign forces if Britain signs up a controversial EU crime database.

The in-depth study also warns that there may be an increased risk of innocent Britons being accused of crimes if the UK finally agrees to join the EU project.

It says some EU countries, including Germany, use lower quality DNA matching criteria than the UK, meaning people in Britain could be accused of being criminals because of “false positive” DNA matches.

MPs are due to vote by the end of December on whether Britain will join the Prüm system, which the former Labour Government signed up to in 2007 but has yet to be ratified.

The proposals have been highly controversial because of the risk that the DNA of unconvicted Britons... see more