Feeds

Police reject Labour MP's call for Bristol-wide DNA test

'Not something we're considering'

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

Bristol police have pooh-poohed a Labour MP's call for all men living in Bristol to provide DNA samples in the hunt for the killer of Jo Yeates.

Kerry McCarthy, Labour MP for Bristol East and Shadow Junior Minister for the Treasury, was reported in yesterday’s Sunday Express as calling for Bristolians to provide their DNA to assist the investigation.

According to the Express, Miss McCarthy said: "I understand some people think this is an invasion of their privacy but I think most people would understand that city-wide testing could get the killer off the streets.

"A lot of people are worried about this person still being on the streets in Bristol and it is important they are caught as soon as possible.

"It is a massive task to do a DNA swab for the whole of the city but I think if it helps catch the killer it is the right thing to do and people will be happy to do this."

Canon Alan Finley of Clifton Catholic Cathedral was reported in the same paper as supporting a city-wide DNA test "if it could draw in the necessary evidence".

Although such a call is likely to find instant favour with the "nothing to hide, nothing to fear" brigade, there are many questions both about the effectiveness and the ethics of such an approach.

Although Ms McCarthy’s office initially suggested that she was merely supporting a call already made by the police, the boys in blue were adamant that no such demand was currently under consideration. A spokeswoman for the Avon and Somerset force told El Reg this morning: "The move to DNA swab all men in the Clifton area is not something that Avon and Somerset Police are considering at this moment in time."

Asked whether the team felt such a move would be helpful, she said this was a "matter of personal opinion".

Testing the best part of a quarter of a million suspects would be a massive investment of time and resources, and a complete waste of both if the perpetrator either lived just outside the target area or happened to be female.

Avon and Somerset would not comment on the gender of the perpetrator, though they did tell us they are "not ruling out whether one or more persons are involved".

Such a plan may have fallen flat in any case. A persistent history of foot-dragging or outright refusal by police to destroy samples that non-suspects were told would be removed at the end of an investigation – as highlighted in this timely blog - means that the chances of everyone meekly turning up at their local station to "help police with their inquiries" is now much diminished. ®

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
Britain's housing crisis: What are we going to do about it?
Rent control: Better than bombs at destroying housing
Top beak: UK privacy law may be reconsidered because of social media
Rise of Twitter etc creates 'enormous challenges'
Ex US cybersecurity czar guilty in child sex abuse website case
Health and Human Services IT security chief headed online to share vile images
We need less U.S. in our WWW – Euro digital chief Steelie Neelie
EC moves to shift status quo at Internet Governance Forum
Oz biz regulator discovers shared servers in EPIC FACEPALM
'Not aware' that one IP can hold more than one Website
Apple tried to get a ban on Galaxy, judge said: NO, NO, NO
Judge Koh refuses Samsung ban for the third time
Pedals and wheel in that Google robo-car or it's off the road – Cali DMV
And insists on $5 million insurance per motor against accidents
prev story

Whitepapers

5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup
IT departments are embracing cloud backup, but there’s a lot you need to know before choosing a service provider. Learn all the critical things you need to know.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Backing up Big Data
Solving backup challenges and “protect everything from everywhere,” as we move into the era of big data management and the adoption of BYOD.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?