Minister deploys 'dodgy' DNA case study
Evidence? Let's make some up
Crime and policing minister David Hanson put forward five case studies to a select committee, but due to an "administrative error" one was a copy of one of the other cases with the name altered.
Hanson wrote to MPs on the parliamentary committee in relation to the crime and security bill, laying out five cases to support the retention of DNA samples. However shadow home affairs minister James Brokenshire noticed that the first of the case studies "bore a startling resemblance" to the fifth.
Both cases involved rape charges and the offenders were also both Dutch nationals. The name of the person convicted in the first study was left out.
When questioned in a select committee about the similarities on 4 February 2010, Hanson admitted the studies were "the same case". He blamed the error on confusion over receiving victim approval to enable the victims' names to be put into the public domain.
Brokenshire told GC News that he was "genuinely shocked" by the discovery. He is also currently awaiting written clarification from Mr Hanson about the error.
"When I first noted the similarities I thought, 'how many Dutch nationals commit a crime in 2006 and are convicted of rape in 2008? It's a bit odd'.
"At the very least it is gross negligence, it's almost like a dodgy DNA dossier. I am so shocked that this could happen and quite frankly if this is the best the government can do to argue its case, their arguments aren't very strong," Brokenshire said.
The European Court of Human Rights ruled against the policy of indefinite retention in late 2008. As a result, the Home Office has proposed measures to allow those arrested, but not convicted, to clear their DNA from the national database after six years.
The Home Office did not respond when asked by Kable for comment.
This article was originally published at Kable.
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It's ALL dodgy...
DNA science is valuable in all sorts of ways. Used forensically, it's dodgy by definition. Especially when the whole scene is dominated by politicians and police officers whose scientific credentials scarcely exceed primary school level. To say nothing of the kind of mind-boggling, unbelievable incompetence that produced this situation.
Arthur C. Clarke said the any advanced technology may be indistinguishable from magic - and this is certainly the case when DNA science meets politics and Mr Plod.
Government? Falsifying evidence?
If 5 cases were needed
The Home Office which represents one extreme side of the DNA argument thought that 5 cases were needed to show why DNA of innocent people should be retained.
Yet they could only show 4.
Ergo they failed, even by their own extremely minimalist criteria, to show the case for retention of DNA of innocent people.
I'd remind you that the Home Office thought there was no downside, and DNA experts warned it would be used for profiling and denying peoples rights without scientific basis.... then the Home Office started using DNA to deny people claiming asylum from being considered... and experts explained that it was to deny people their rights without scientific basis.