Things have carried on more or less as before, pending the passage of the Protection of Freedoms Bill, which has been very slow. As currently drafted that would change the situation to be more like that in Scotland.
Outrageously, in my view, the Supreme Court recently declined to order police to comply with the existing law:http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2011 ... reme-court
- which if I interpret it correctly is that chief constables' discretion is being exercised back to front: they may not as a matter of law retain DNA and fingerprints without good reason; but in practice they will only agree to deletion if the person making the request can satisfy hidden criteria and demonstrate they are an exception to general retention.
So we have a situation where the present law is defied by the government, and the courts fail to enforce it on the grounds that parliament is thinking about making a statute, in due course, that would be a little bit more favourable to the police than the current situation.