Would stop the police from going ahead
1st December 2010: Just over a month after the UK police drew flak for allegedly arresting people, non-whites in particular, to record their DNA profiles on a national database, shadow immigration minister Damian Green said a Conservative government would stop the practice.
He said a Conservative government would stop the police forces from going ahead. A research carried out by the Tories’ into the database has established the existence of a postcode lottery on whether the information is retained once a person’s innocence has been established.
Some police forces refuse to give up the DNA details. Others delete four out of five.
Green said he had received many cases of other innocent people, who were trying to recover their DNA.
They include magistrates, grandmothers, a number of former servicemen and women: precisely those who, like him, were instinctively inclined to help the police.
Claiming it was "imperative" that the police return the DNA of innocent people, Green asserted the support of the public was a vital tool for the police.
The Conservatives would adopt the system followed by the Scottish government, in which majority of people had their DNA removed immediately
An independent government advisory body, the Human Genetics Commission, had earlier asserted there was some evidence to suggest that people were arrested to retain the DNA information, even though they might not have been arrested in other circumstances.
The commission report said the DNA profiles of 75 per cent of all non-white males in Britain now figure in the database. This has risked stigmatizing a whole section of society.
In fact, the Equalities and Human Rights Commission said the proportion of black men on the database gave the impression one race group represented an "alien wedge" of criminality.
In its report, the genetics commission has rather criticized the gradual development of the database and has questioned its efficacy in helping the police to investigate and solve crimes.
Commission chairman Jonathan Montgomery said it has now become a routine to take DNA samples on arrest. As such, a large numbers of people on the DNA database will now be there not because they have been convicted, but because they’ve been arrested.
Quoting a retired senior police officer, Professor Montgomery said it was now a norm to arrest offenders for everything if there is a power to do so. It was apparently understood by serving police officers that one of the reasons was so that DNA could be obtained.