Feeds

Police DNA test plan to put off prostitutes' punters

Another day, another database idea

The Power of One Infographic

West Yorkshire Police have sought to clarify a senior officer's remarks after she called for a database of all men who use prostitutes, irrespective of whether or not a crime has been committed.

Chief Superintendent Alison Rose from Bradford South said in a report by the BBC that she wanted to set up a DNA database of men who employ the services of sex workers.

Ms Rose said: "I think there's a real gap in the law around taking DNA from men that use women for sex. If you know that in paying a woman for sex, your DNA was going to be taken you might think again."

This is possibly true; but as El Reg pointed out, when seeking clarification from West Yorkshire Police, going with a sex worker is unlawful in some circumstances, but not all. The implication of this statement, therefore, is that the police would be taking DNA samples from individuals who had committed no crime at all.

West Yorkshire subsequently clarified Ms Rose’s position. A spokesman told us: "She is referring to taking the DNA of those who are charged with kerb crawling offences. If they are subsequently found not guilty, they would obviously be removed from any database. This is a call for a change in the current legislation."

In further clarification, West Yorkshire explained that Ms Rose would like to see the release of images of men convicted of kerb crawling.

Ms Rose’s position is ever so slightly at odds with that of ACPO. Just over a year ago now, UK Police were told by the European Court on Human Rights that that DNA data should not be indefinitely retained from those who have not been charged or convicted.

However, as ACPO confirmed to us today, police are continuing to take samples as usual, pending the issue of new regulations by government. This policy includes taking samples from individuals on arrest, and not deleting them even where there is a "not guilty" finding.

Guy Herbert, from the No2ID campaign, was unimpressed with Ms Rose’s proposal. He said: "By the very nature of the work that they do, prostitutes are going to end up with traces of all sorts of DNA so this just creating a route for information to be collected which leads to accusations.

"This is a diversion of police resources from doing something sensible about the real problem."

This proposal follows a not entirely dissimilar proposal by Deputy Chief Constable Simon Byrne, ACPO's lead on prostitution and sexual exploitation, at the end of last year. He would like to see the police setting up a database of “ugly mugs” – or individuals believed to pose a risk to sex workers. ®

Boost IT visibility and business value

More from The Register

next story
Yorkshire cops fail to grasp principle behind BT Fon Wi-Fi network
'Prevent people that are passing by to hook up to your network', pleads plod
UK government officially adopts Open Document Format
Microsoft insurgency fails, earns snarky remark from UK digital services head
Major problems beset UK ISP filth filters: But it's OK, nobody uses them
It's almost as though pr0n was actually rather popular
HP, Microsoft prove it again: Big Business doesn't create jobs
SMEs get lip service - what they need is dinner at the Club
ITC: Seagate and LSI can infringe Realtek patents because Realtek isn't in the US
Land of the (get off scot) free, when it's a foreign owner
MPs wave through Blighty's 'EMERGENCY' surveillance laws
Only 49 politcos voted against DRIP bill
Help yourself to anyone's photos FOR FREE, suggests UK.gov
Copyright law reforms will keep m'learned friends busy
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Reducing security risks from open source software
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.