Feeds

Half of black Britain on track for DNA database

Libdems raise spectre of racial profiling

The essential guide to IT transformation

Half of all black British males are destined to become records on the police National DNA Database by 2010, according to an analysis of government figures by the Liberal Democrats.

If you count only men of an arrestable age, 68 per cent of them will have been nabbed and dabbed by the police by 2010. Just 14.4 per cent of white males are expected to be on the DNA database in the same time.

Liberal Democrat leader Menzies Campbell used the figures to raise a question about the "disproportionate" targeting of non-white people by police, or "racial profiling", by which people's behaviours are stereotyped according to the colour of their skin.

The extent of errors on the DNA database, and the number of children contained on it, are also problems that are putting the National Police Improvement Agency, the authority responsible for its upkeep, on the defensive.

The number of innocent children on the database has been a cause for concern among campaigners and the Conservatives.

In respect of children, the pertinence of the question of innocence has caused campaign group Action for Rights of Children to warn how youngsters could be stigmatised by having a presence on the DNA database that marked them out as potential criminals.

Campbell called for all innocent people to be removed from the DNA database.

"There is absolutely no justification for keeping the DNA record of anyone who is not charged with an offence," he said. "This arbitrary method of collecting DNA will alienate minority groups who already feel unjustly targeted," he added.

Government figures show there are 244,695 black British males on the DNA database, said the Libdems in a statement today. Using government estimates that there will be 4.5 million people on the DNA database in three years, official predictions of population growth and ethnicity, the Libdems have predicted that there will be 288,652 black males on the database.

That's 51.9 per cent of black males and 68 per cent of black males of an "arrestable age".

There is, already, 45 per cent of the black British male population on the DNA database, according to the Libdem numbers.

Yet the predictions for the growing ethnicity of the DNA database might be underestimated. A total of 667,737 people were added to the DNA database last year (a similar number were added the previous year, almost 500,000 the year before and around 400,000 for the three consecutive years preceding that).

Yet the government forecast used by the Libdems reckons the database will have increased by only a quarter of a million people next year, about 300,000 the year after, and would only reach levels approaching 600,000 new additions in 2010.®

5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup

More from The Register

next story
Hello, police, El Reg here. Are we a bunch of terrorists now?
Do Brits risk arrest for watching beheading video nasty? We asked the fuzz
Snowden on NSA's MonsterMind TERROR: It may trigger cyberwar
Plus: Syria's internet going down? That was a US cock-up
UK government accused of hiding TRUTH about Universal Credit fiasco
'Reset rating keeps secrets on one-dole-to-rule-them-all plan', say MPs
Caught red-handed: UK cops, PCSOs, specials behaving badly… on social media
No Mr Fuzz, don't ask a crime victim to be your pal on Facebook
e-Borders fiasco: Brits stung for £224m after US IT giant sues UK govt
Defeat to Raytheon branded 'catastrophic result'
Yes, but what are your plans if a DRAGON attacks?
Local UK gov outs most ridiculous FoI requests...
Felony charges? Harsh! Alleged Anon hackers plead guilty to misdemeanours
US judge questions harsh sentence sought by prosecutors
This'll end well: US govt says car-to-car jibber-jabber will SAVE lives
Department of Transportation starts cogs turning for another wireless comms standard
Munich considers dumping Linux for ... GULP ... Windows!
Give a penguinista a hug, the Outlook's not good for open source's poster child
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
7 Elements of Radically Simple OS Migration
Avoid the typical headaches of OS migration during your next project by learning about 7 elements of radically simple OS migration.
BYOD's dark side: Data protection
An endpoint data protection solution that adds value to the user and the organization so it can protect itself from data loss as well as leverage corporate data.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?