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Thursday, May 07, 2009

Ministers bottle DNA reform

So in the end UK Ministers showed their true colours and did the bare minimum to comply with the ruling of the European Courts.

The proposal to keep the genetic profiles of hundreds of ­thousands of innocent people are to be kept on the national DNA database for up to 12 years in a decision which seems to be designed to sidestep the European human rights ruling that the "blanket" retention of suspects' data is unlawful.

Jacqui Smith's plans to keep the DNA profiles of innocent people who are arrested but not convicted of minor offences for six years. This proposal also applies to children from age 10 who are arrested but never successfully prosecuted:

But the proposals fall short of those expectations and contrast sharply with the situation in Scotland, where only the DNA profiles of suspects arrested for serious violent and sexual offences are retained for a maximum of five years.

Human rights groups, and opposition politicians united tonightin expressing dismay that the Home Office had rejected that option and predicted a race to the courts to challenge the new policy.

"The government just doesn't get this," said the shadow home secretary, Chris Grayling. The Liberal Democrats' Chris Huhne added: "This is an undignified rearguard action designed to give as little as possible."

Liberty's Shami Chakrabarti said: "Wholly innocent people – including ­children – will have their most intimate details stockpiled for years on a database that will remain massively out of step with the rest of the world."

It is estimated that the number of innocent people on the database has risen to 925,000 since December's ruling. The Home Office really are just trying to get away with doing as little as possible when they should be focussing resources and their energy on catching criminals, rather than persecuting the innocent.


The Scots have a better balance between law enforcement and the rights of the individual. There is a summary of where they are now and where they want to go here.

When Wales has similar powers, I trust we will align our DNA and fingerprint policy with Scotland.
Yes but my DNA is mine DNA what next we all have to have a tattoo saying rapist, sex abuser, expenses thief.
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