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More than 5 million people now on DNA database

Still growing despite court ruling

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The estimated number of people whose DNA profile is stored by the government has broken the five million mark for the first time.

Some 5,094,568 individuals are now thought to be represented on the National DNA Database, according to updated figures.

The total accounts for an estimated replication rate of 13.8 per cent. The number of actual DNA profiles is 5,910,172 - about one for every ten people in Britain. In July there were 5.6 million entries.

The updated figures were released by Home Office minister Alan Campbell in answer to a Parliamentary question.

The untrammelled growth of the world's largest repository of human DNA information on a per capita basis has continued, despite the government's defeat at the European Court of Human Rights last December.

A panel of judges ruled that the policy of retaining the DNA profile of every person arrested forever was illegal. So far the government has taken no action to comply with the ruling.

A proposal to shorten the maximum retention period to 12 years was dropped last week. New plans are now expected in the Crime and Policing Bill, in the Queen's Speech on November 18.

Also last week, an official report showed that despite the growth of the database, detections based on DNA evidence have fallen. ®

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