February 29, 2024

England’s DNA data base becomes election issue

European Court of Human Rights forced England to change rules

England’s DNA data base has become an
election issue. The opposition Conservatives have abandoned attempts to block
the retention of DNA samples after a very effective campaign by the mother of a
murdered girl whose killer was caught because his genetic record was on file
for a minor charge. The Labour government has passed a bill allowing police to
keep DNA profiles of those arrested, but not subsequently charged or convicted,
for up to six years. However the opposition says that it wants this reduced to
three years. They insist it is wrong to keep the DNA of innocent people
arrested for minor offences

The government has been under pressure to
change the rules about its DNA register, which holds 5.6 million profiles, because
the European Court of Human Rights ruled in 2008 that retaining DNA samples
from all people arrested, regardless of whether they were found guilty, was
illegal. ~ London Times,
Apr 8

Michael Cook
DNA data base