UK.gov urged to slash DNA retention plan
Database rejig 'not enough' for human rights
Government plans designed to bring the National DNA Database in line with human rights legislation have been criticised today by an influential group of MPs as not going far enough.
The Commons Home Affairs Select Committee said that DNA profiles from those not convicted of a crime should only be retained for three years.
After defeat at the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg over a year ago, the government proposed police should store innocent people's DNA data for six years. In December the UK's human rights watchdog warned the planned period could still be illegal.
Currently DNA profiles from every person arrested are held indefinitely, except at the discretion of chief constables.
"We are not convinced that retaining for six years the DNA profiles of people not convicted of any crime would result in more cases being cleared up — let alone more convictions obtained — than retaining them for three years," the Committee said.
Estimates provided by the genetic ethics group GeneWatch, based on data released by the Home Office, said that as few as 0.3 per cent of crimes are solved, or partially solved, by matching a crime scene sample to a profile on the National DNA Database. The Committee said there is no reliable data on what proportion of those useful profiles belong to someone never convicted of a crime.
The Home Office has faced calls from Liberty and other campaigners to delete such data entirely. The Committee rejected this option, however, judging that the benefit to public safety of retention for three years outweighed the impact on individual privacy.
The suggested compromise could offer the government a way to satisfy the House of Lords, where opposition to six-year retention is stronger than in the Commons. Both are due to vote on the Crime and Security Bill, which would make the change, before the election.
Also today, the Committee backed ministers' plans to expand the role of the National DNA Database Strategy Board. It will be made responsible for considering applications nationwide, although local chief constables will retain a veto.
"The Home Secretary cited an example of where DNA data should not be retained — that of someone arrested for shoplifting when trying to exchange goods for which she was carrying the receipt," the Committee said, adding it would expect profiles to be deleted "in a far wider range of cases". ®
Arrested for returning goods???
"The Home Secretary cited an example of where DNA data should not be retained — that of someone arrested for shoplifting when trying to exchange goods for which she was carrying the receipt,"
So you can be arrested, and illegally detained in Britain even if you have a store receipt? Your DNA taken, and the Home Secretary, suggests that only then should your DNA not be kept like the criminals you will become? And of course you are likely to be a criminal because you dared return goods for store credit! Unless you keep your nose clean for 5 years!
What if you are arrested again for demanding to return faulty goods, does the 5 years count start again?
What's the plan? Treat everyone as criminals, make their lives so miserable and so similar to the life of criminals as to make little difference whether they commit a crime or not?
What if they DID steal that DVD? You arrest them, check their DNA against EVERY CRIME FOR WHICH DNA WAS EVER RECORDED and they're innocent. What then? You've shown that they have a lower probability of being a criminal than any random person grabbed off the street!
You could grab an MP from Parliament and they would have a bigger probability of matching the DNA database than the shop lifter.
Yet you decide to keep their DNA anyway. You've written them off, they are on to make it easier to arrest them in future, even if they're just returning goods for store credit. What difference does innocence or guilt matter? You can never reform any criminal, once an Expenses fiddler, ALWAYS an expenses fiddler.
Once a liar to Parliament, always a liar to Parliament!
Vote Labour, tough on crime, even imagined future ones by innocent people!
Because you know how honest Jacqui Smith was!? Well Alan Johnson is so feeble and weak that he cannot reverse any of her bad decision! She left in shame, yet the choices she made he cannot change.
Yeh, Vote Labour, I dare you.
So . . .
. . . we have no evidence to suggest that an innocent persons DNA has been used to solve another crime, ever.
Yet we still want to retain it for several years, for people who haven't been convicted of a crime.
How about you just fuck off and stop this bastard version of a democracy.
1) there is no evidence of innocent people's DNA solving crimes and only 0.3 crimes are solved by this DNA farce anyway.
2) The benefit to public safety outweighs the impact on privacy.
So how does something for which we have no measure outweigh anything?