For instance, on the continued retention of photos of people held in police custody who haven’t been convicted, despite this practice being ruled unlawful, the government simply reiterated the fact its computers systems do not support the automatic removal of images, and new systems should help.
“When the Law Enforcement Data Service, which will replace the Police National Computer (PNC) and the PND, is in place it will enable more efficient review and where appropriate, automatic deletion of custody images by linking them to conviction status, more closely replicating the system for DNA and fingerprints,” it said
How about coming over to the Antipodeans, where we've been removing Biometrics from our IT systems for almost 20 years. No, it doesn't happen automatically and yet this is not deemed to be a burden to the Police force.
For the record, the system generates paperwork which requires departments to destroy their evidence (i.e. photographs, fingerprints, DNA samples, etc...) - note that it first checks to see if the person in question has ever been found guilty of an indictable offence; if so, bad luck buddy. These forms are barcoded for ease of reference and the people in each biometric department can simply scan the barcode to find out the individual records which need to be physically destroyed, because OF COURSE we uniquely identify each piece of evidence (duh). When the evidence is destroyed, the relevant officer signs the form and returns it to central processing.
This is all possible because the system is also the one which generates and prints the paperwork for when photographs, fingerprints or DNA are taken - and thus knows what biometrics are held against which person. So when the person is released a button is pressed, the legal status of the subject is checked, and the relevant destruction paperwork is generated (or not).
So unless the UK plods manning (peopling?) each biometric department have to handle a sh*tload more offenders than we do down here, there should be no reason the damn things can't be destroyed manually and the whole "oh, we can't do it unless it's automated" sounds like a load a manure to me.