A FIREFIGHTER who was arrested on suspicion of causing a fatal motorway crash said he was made to feel like “criminal” just for doing his job.

Mathew Repton, of Westonbirt Close, St Peter’s, Worcester, was on duty for Hereford and Worcester Fire and Rescue Service on Saturday, December 27, last year when he was called out to an accident on the M5.

Mr Repton was driving the fire engine that attended the crash on the eastbound sliproad for the M42 at junction 4a.

In line with the service’s procedures, Mr Repton parked the fire engine at a 45 degree angle, partly on the hard shoulder and partly on lane one, to “fend-off” the incident.

Shortly afterwards a car came down the sliproad and crashed into the back of the fire engine killing one of the occupants, 35-year-old Sarabjit Singh, of West Bromwich.

Mr Repton was arrested on suspicion of causing death by dangerous driving, taken to Redditch police station and placed in a cell. His DNA samples and fingerprints were taken to be stored on the national database.

After questioning he was bailed until March 2009 and the matter was referred to the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS).

After examining the facts, the CPS found no evidence to bring charges against him and he was released from the conditions of his bail. Mr Repton, aged 33, has since been campaigning for his DNA profiles and fingerprints to be destroyed.

In December 2008, a landmark ruling in the European Court of Human Rights said the retention of DNA and fingerprints from people suspected but not convicted of offences was unlawful.

Mr Repton was told yesterday by a colleague at the fire service his case had been deemed “exceptional” and the data would be removed from the database. He has yet to receive confirmation from police.

Mr Repton, who has been a firefighter for 13 years, said: “I was carrying out the duties which I was employed to do – so was completely gobsmacked to be arrested.

“I was taken to the police station, stripped, searched, put in a cell and made to feel like a criminal.

“It was a very stressful time and was always at the back of my mind that I might end up in court.

“It’s good they have decided to destroy my DNA samples and fingerprints but the whole process has taken far too long and it seems nothing gets done unless you make a huge fuss about it.”

A spokesperson from West Merica Police said: “Parliament has decided that the intrusion on personal privacy is proportionate to the benefits that are gained and the DNA database is a vital tool in helping us detect more crime.

“It would be wrong for West Mercia Police to comment on individual cases.”