London: Police departments in Britain retained at least 492 human body parts, including brains, hearts and limbs, even after investigations were over, without telling the families of victims, an official probe has found.
The Association of Chief Police Officers said the body parts were from murder investigations or cases involving other suspicious deaths that date back as far as the 1960s, the Guardian reported.
Police said there was a legal requirement for them to retain human body tissue samples after post-mortem examination in murder cases.
According to British law, body parts can be stored until a convicted prisoner has served his sentence. But the uncovered samples relate to cases no longer subject to investigation.
The audit did not include samples from current criminal investigations.