Feeds

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

'Not something we're considering'

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

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. ®

Business security measures using SSL

More from The Register

next story
Phones 4u slips into administration after EE cuts ties with Brit mobe retailer
More than 5,500 jobs could be axed if rescue mission fails
Israeli spies rebel over mass-snooping on innocent Palestinians
'Disciplinary treatment will be sharp and clear' vow spy-chiefs
Apple CEO Tim Cook: TV is TERRIBLE and stuck in the 1970s
The iKing thinks telly is far too fiddly and ugly – basically, iTunes
Huawei ditches new Windows Phone mobe plans, blames poor sales
Giganto mobe firm slams door shut on Microsoft. OH DEAR
Phones 4u website DIES as wounded mobe retailer struggles to stay above water
Founder blames 'ruthless network partners' for implosion
Found inside ISIS terror chap's laptop: CELINE DION tunes
REPORT: Stash of terrorist material found in Syria Dell box
Show us your Five-Eyes SECRETS says Privacy International
Refusal to disclose GCHQ canteen menus and prices triggers Euro Human Rights Court action
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.
Security and trust: The backbone of doing business over the internet
Explores the current state of website security and the contributions Symantec is making to help organizations protect critical data and build trust with customers.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.