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Monday, May 25, 2009

MPs denied vote on database

Plans by the Labour Government to allow police to store innocent people's DNA profiles for up to 12 years are likely to be passed without being properly debated and voted on by MPs on the floor of the House of Commons, it has emerged:

Ministers were forced to reform the crime-fighting DNA database after the European Court of Human Rights last year outlawed the current rules under which anyone arrested for any crime has their genetic profile stored indefinitely - even if they are innocent and never charged.

But the Home Secretary sparked outrage over so-called 'Big Brother' powers earlier this month when she unveiled new rules, which will still allow the police to keep innocent people on the database for six years, or 12 years if they were arrested for but cleared of a serious sexual or violent offence.

Yesterday the criticism mounted as the Home Office admitted it plans to rush the reforms through Parliament using a 'statutory instrument' which will be rubber-stamped following 90 minutes of discussion by a Labour-dominated committee, with no debate or vote in the House of Commons.

Miss Smith's officials sparked further anger by saying the procedure was necessary in order to comply with the Strasbourg ruling as quickly as possible - effectively claiming there was not enough time for MPs to debate the matter.

Liberal Democrat Homes Affairs Spokesperson, Chris Huhne has accused the Government of trying to bypass Parliament. It certainly seems wrong that such a fundamental attack on our liberties can be decided with so little debate. The database already contains around five million entries - 850,000 of which are from people who were arrested but not convicted. It is wrong that executive power is misused in this way to undermine the rights of the innocent.


You'd think it might have penetrated the corrupted minds (Acton's definition; not necessarily financially) of this government that steamrollering a bit of oppression through might not be a good idea. However, having seen Ms Smith on last night's BBC2 either lying or not knowing about the control of ANPR then I am quite sure they don't give a f**K for the voters.
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