ORGANS and human tissue have been kept by West Yorkshire Police following police investigations into murder or suspicious deaths.
Now the force has apologised to the concerned families.
An audit has found 31 cases where the force retained significant tissue. As well as organ, some small tissue samples such as slides with microscopic amounts of tissue have also been identified by the audit.
The revelation came after all forces were requested to conduct an audit of human tissue retained in relation to suspicious deaths.
Nationally police forces have 492 whole organs or ‘significant’ body parts held on police premises, hospital mortuaries and other establishments. Some relate to historical cases going as far back as 1960.
West Yorkshire Police say that early investigations suggest that some of the families of the deceased may be unaware of the retention.
Assistant Chief Constable Jawaid Akhtar, who has led the local audit, said: “Our main concern now is to ensure that the families concerned are immediately visited by specially trained Family Liaison Officers so we can explain to them personally what has occurred and offer our support and assistance.
“This will include establishing the families’ wishes as to how the samples should now be dealt with, ensuring this is done with dignity and sensitivity.