Body parts kept by Irish police force

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Police in Northern Ireland are facing questions after confirmation human body parts were stored from people who died under suspicious circumstances without alerting families.

Relatives are now being contacted, with police acknowledging the revelation will be an “incredibly difficult time” for the families bereaved over a 40-year period.

The Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) declined to confirm the number of cases involved, but the figure has been placed at 67, and is said to include murder cases from the Troubles.

Investigators retained human tissue and body parts as evidence from 1960 to 2005. Details of a UK-wide audit by police services on the retention of human tissue are to be published on May 21.

The PSNI said: “The audit has enabled PSNI to identify and consider the most appropriate way of sensitively dealing with human tissue no longer required to be held for criminal investigations.”