Lifestyle & Belief

UK police criticized for keeping 500 old body parts in storage


An event which attempts to break Guinness World Record for number of people signing up to the organ donor register in one hour at Covent Garden on October 15, 2011 in London, England.


Ben Pruchnie

Police in England, Wales and Northern Ireland have almost 500 old body parts in storage that they don't need anymore, BBC News reported. The brains, hearts and limbs were kept from murder investigations that date as far back as 1960. But the cases have since been closed, so the police shouldn't be keeping the tissue anymore, the Association of Chief Police Officers said.   

More from GlobalPost: Promises, pitfalls await investors in Burma’s frontier

One woman whose brother died in 2003 was horrified to discover that his brain was still being kept by police. "For the families to have to go through another funeral for the body part is very upsetting," she told the BBC. 

The audit said that the failure to throw out the old body parts may have occurred because police "wrongly assumed" that they were thrown away after the autopsy, the Associated Foreign Press reported. The audit also found that there isn't any nationwide consensus on how, exactly, to dispose of the old tissue.