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DNA database turns ‘innocents into criminals’ and a million records should be destroyed, warns watchdog

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James Slack
UK Daily Mail
Wednesday, July 30, 2008

The national DNA database is being used by ministers to ‘criminalise the innocent’, it was claimed yesterday.

A Citizens’ Inquiry set up by a Government watchdog has demanded that the samples of a million innocent people stored on the files for life be removed.

Meanwhile, the Home Office should be stripped of responsibility for managing the library – because it has a ‘hidden agenda’ and ‘cannot be trusted’, the panel argued.

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The database was originally a register of those convicted of a crime. But under laws quietly passed by Labour, anybody arrested for a serious offence and later cleared can have their genetic data stored for life.

Panel member Javed Aslam said: ‘For me, that is the first step towards a totalitarian state.’

The inquiry, overseen by the Human Genetics Commission, made a series of criticisms about the operation of the database. Most striking is the recommendation for the DNA of all innocents,

  • A d v e r t i s e m e n t

including children, to be deleted. The panel, which took evidence from leading DNA experts and police, said: ‘Retaining the sample criminalises the innocent.’

A majority of the panel, which received a £50,000 Government grant, also ruled that there should be no universal DNA database, and that the ethnicity of a suspect should not be recorded. When children are found guilty of a crime, they should remain in the database for only a limited period, the panel said.

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This article was posted: Wednesday, July 30, 2008 at 4:27 am

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