Humza Yousaf to investigate Labour MSP's foreign national fingerprinting concerns

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Justice Secretary Humza Yousaf has pledged to look into claims Police Scotland are "routinely" fingerprinting British citizens who were born overseas.

Labour MSP Daniel Johnson said he had correspondence with the force that "suggests they are routinely fingerprinting foreign-born and dual nationals, apparently on the pretext of Home Office requirements".

Justice Secretary Humza Yousaf said policy on fingerprinting was 'an operational matter for Police Scotland'. Picture: TSPL

Justice Secretary Humza Yousaf said policy on fingerprinting was 'an operational matter for Police Scotland'. Picture: TSPL

The Edinburgh Southern MSP raised the issue with the Justice Secretary after a constituent who was born in the Middle East was told by officers he was being fingerprinted because of "Home Office requirements".

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Mr Johnson said: "I have been contacted by a very concerned constituent of mine, born in the Middle East, a naturalised British citizen, who came into contact with the police due to an altercation with a neighbour.

"He was not arrested, was not questioned under caution, was not charged but had his fingerprints taken and was told that was done so because he was born outside the UK."

Mr Johnson added: "My correspondence with Police Scotland suggests they are routinely fingerprinting foreign-born and dual nationals, apparently on the pretext of Home Office requirements.

"But surely it is not right to be treated differently and fingerprinted because you are naturalised rather than a British citizen by birth?"

The Justice Secretary said policy on fingerprinting was "an operational matter for Police Scotland" but the force had advised him "they do not routinely fingerprint dual nationals or British citizens born abroad".

He said he would be "more than happy" to discuss the case with Ms Johnson, adding: "If he believes, as he is suggesting, that this is being routinely done I am more than happy to investigate that."