Thursday, December 31, 2009

DNA retention hampers policing

"When ministers or police chiefs seize on the odd case, always with emotional pulling power, which they claim would not have been solved without a big DNA database, they should consider the long-term implications of an intrusive DNA policy. An alienated population seldom provides the tip-offs the police need to catch criminals, or the evidence in court needed to convict. This has been a problem at times within some minority communities who regard the police as hostile. How much more difficult life would be for the police if this attitude became widespread.

"A smaller, targeted DNA database would not only be a more effective tool in crime-fighting; it would act as a sign that the creeping expansion of the surveillance state was being reversed. In this instance civil liberties and the real interests of the police point in the same direction. The only people who still need convincing are current Home Office ministers, and the senior ranks of the police." —Damian Green MP

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