Saturday, 6 June 2009

You've got nothing to fear......

The Daily Mail tells us that:

Youths with no criminal record are being targeted for arrest so their DNA can be logged on a database in the event they commit crimes.

A total of 386 under-18s had their DNA taken and stored by police last year in one north London borough - more than one a day.

An experience officer working for the Metropolitan Police admitted the DNA was being stored as part of a 'long-term crime prevention strategy'.

The officer said: 'We are often told that we have just one chance to get that DNA sample and if we miss it then that might mean a rape or a murder goes unsolved in the future.'

He added: 'Have we got targets for young people who have not been arrested yet? The answer is yes.

We are always told that DNA evidence is totally reliable. In law, one of the principles of proof is: beyond reasonable doubt. When these two issues come together in court, which will be dominant? We have all too often seen the massive influence given to so-called expert witness evidence.

Henry Porter in his Guardian blog tells us that:

A lawyer and genetic scientist has raised the disturbing possibility of false matches being made in the police national DNA database (NDNAD). He suggests that the DNA database – which at the end of September 2008 had 4,343,624, samples, including those from hundreds of thousands of innocent people – is now so large that it is mathematically predicted an innocent person will be matched to a crime they did not commit.

Just imagine the false positives if ever there were 60 million people on the database and, whatever happened to the European Court's ruling regarding the retention of the DNA of innocent people?

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