Monday, October 19, 2009
Civil liberty campaigners claimed a victory today after the government announced it is dropping current proposals to retain the DNA profiles of innocent people on the national database.
The Home Office has announced that its plan to keep the DNA profiles of those arrested – but never convicted of a crime – for between six and 12 years depending on the seriousness of the offence has been dropped from the policing and crime bill that is going through parliament.
A European court ruling in December found it was unlawful to keep the DNA details of 850,000 innocent people indefinitely on the national database.
The authors of the research on which Home Office ministers based their plan had disowned the proposals. The Jill Dando Institute for Crime Science said its work should not have been used to decide the six- to 12-year time limits because the work was unfinished.
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A Home Office spokesman said they hoped to bring forward “further provisions” on DNA retention in the next policing and crime bill earmarked for the next session of parliament, which opens on 18 November. “We have now completed a public consultation on proposals to ensure the right people are on the database as well as considering when people should come off. Those proposals were grounded in the research and allowed us to respond to the judgment of the European court of human rights both swiftly and effectively.
“The government will take the most expedient route to address the issue as soon as possible in order to comply with the European court’s judgment.”
This article was posted: Monday, October 19, 2009 at 8:41 am