Feeds

Home Office to keep innocent DNA samples

Hey, it's only for 12 years

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

The Home Office has rejected European Court of Human Rights demands that innocent people should not have their DNA stored on the national database.

Instead samples from people arrested for, but not convicted of serious violent or sexual crimes, will be removed after 12 years. The DNA profiles of those arrested but not convicted for minor offences will be kept for six years.

The law will be changed to retrospectively add all prisoners serving time for serious violent or sexual offences to the database. Police will also get the right to take samples from people convicted of serious crimes while abroad.

The changes have been made in response to a ruling from the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg. The judges said they were struck by "the blanket and indiscriminate nature of the power of retention in England and Wales". In Scotland different rules are followed - only those convicted of serious offences get put on the database. The Home Office agreed in December to remove profiles taken from children under the age of ten.

The police will additionally be asked to trawl through innocent DNA profiles, 850,000 of them, to try and link them to existing records on the Police National Computer, The Guardian reports.

Jacqui Smith said: "These new proposals will ensure that the right people are on it, as well as considering where people should come off. We will ensure that the most serious offenders are added to the database no matter when or where they were convicted."

The case was brought by two men from Sheffield who wanted their profiles removed.

Actual DNA samples will now be destroyed as soon as they are converted into profiles. Children arrested but not convicted for minor offences will have their profiles destroyed when they turn 18.

All those convicted of an offence recorded on the Police National Computer, from prostitution to taking a pedal cycle without consent, will have their DNA profile and fingerprints stored forever.

The big question is if Jacqui's tweaks to the database will be enough to satisfy the European courts. ®

Intelligent flash storage arrays

More from The Register

next story
Ex-US Navy fighter pilot MIT prof: Drones beat humans - I should know
'Missy' Cummings on UAVs, smartcars and dying from boredom
Facebook, Apple: LADIES! Why not FREEZE your EGGS? It's on the company!
No biological clockwatching when you work in Silicon Valley
The 'fun-nification' of computer education – good idea?
Compulsory code schools, luvvies love it, but what about Maths and Physics?
Happiness economics is bollocks. Oh, UK.gov just adopted it? Er ...
Opportunity doesn't knock; it costs us instead
Doctor Who's Flatline: Cool monsters, yes, but utterly limp subplots
We know what the Doctor does, stop going on about it already
'Cowardly, venomous trolls' threatened with TWO-YEAR sentences for menacing posts
UK government: 'Taking a stand against a baying cyber-mob'
Sysadmin with EBOLA? Gartner's issued advice to debug your biz
Start hoarding cleaning supplies, analyst firm says, and assume your team will scatter
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Cloud and hybrid-cloud data protection for VMware
Learn how quick and easy it is to configure backups and perform restores for VMware environments.
Three 1TB solid state scorchers up for grabs
Big SSDs can be expensive but think big and think free because you could be the lucky winner of one of three 1TB Samsung SSD 840 EVO drives that we’re giving away worth over £300 apiece.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.