DNA profiles of 37% of black men are estimated to be on the National DNA Database
31st May 2011: Human rights campaign group Black Mental Health UK is seeking the deletion of “innocent records from Police Databases”. It has, in fact, launched a new campaign in this regard.
Supported by GeneWatch UK and other community organisations, BMH UK’s campaign is demanding deletion of all innocent people from the Police National Computer (PNC) and Police National Database (PND) at the same time that their DNA is deleted.
The demand assumes significance as currently DNA profiles of 37 per cent of black men are estimated to be on the National DNA Database. In effect, every black family in Britain is affected.
BMH UK has for the past three years been campaigning against the way the DNA database has `criminalised’ black Britons.
BMH UK says up to a million innocent people will still retain the status of a criminal, unless the PNC and PND records are deleted at the same time as well as any photos.
Anyone profiled on the DNA database has his details entered onto three databases: the National DNA database, the fingerprint database and the Police National Database.
The record can be used to turn down someone a visa or a job, as they may have a record of arrest.
Activists believe it is also stigmatic.
BMH UK is also asking people to come out in support of the campaign by clicking their website, www.blackmentalhealth.org.uk, and going to the campaign page. They can download the lobbying letter before e-mailing it or posting it to their local MP.
‘We welcome the Protection of Freedom Bill and its proposals to destroy all innocent DNA and fingerprints.
`But in order to ensure that the innocent are not inadvertently criminalised by this system we need people to write to their MPs let them know that both PNC and PND records of innocent people need to be deleted at the same time,’ Matilda MacAttram director of Black Mental Health UK says.
The campaign section says: If you take action now you can make a difference to what happens to all the police records linked to innocent DNA and help to change the law. The letters that people have written to MPs are one of the main reasons that the new Government has committed to include the deletion of all innocent DNA samples and profiles in The Protection of Freedoms Bill”.