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Miliband retains Labour line on DNA and CCTV

But criticises party's civil liberty blunders

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The new Labour leader has expressed support for DNA in policing and the role of CCTV, while criticising the party's 'casual' attitude towards civil liberties.

Ed Miliband, giving his first speech to the Labour party conference on 28 September 2010, said of civil liberties, "too often we seemed casual about them.

"I won't let the Tories or the Liberals take ownership of the British tradition of liberty," he said. "I want our party to reclaim that tradition."

As examples of a casual attitude, Miliband mentioned as examples Tony Blair's plans for 90 days' detention without crime – which were blocked by Parliament – and the "broad use" of anti-terrorism laws.

But he added: "They just undermined the important things we did like CCTV and DNA testing." Elements of such measures were also criticised by civil liberties campaigners, and the coalition government plans to make changes to policy on both.

Under the previous government, the Home Office provided hundreds of millions of pounds to support the installation of CCTV cameras. It also allowed the retention of DNA profiles of people who were arrested but not convicted of a crime.

Miliband did not mention identity cards, which are currently in the process of being abolished by the coalition government. However, in an article for Guardian.co.uk during the leadership race, he wrote: "The argument is being won that on issues like ID cards and stop-and-search we became too casual about the liberties of individuals."

This article was originally published at Kable.

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