Wednesday, 25 November 2009

Second city - second DNA listing

The Guardian has found the DNA database figures by region and the West Midlands comes second after Northumbria. We have 118 samples on the database per thousand population yet this does not appear to correspond to our position in the crime statistics. The Human Genetics Commission (HGC), an independent Government advisory body, has called for new rules for officers on when it is right to take a sample and add it to the database - now the largest of its kind in the world with five million samples.

In its report Nothing to hide, nothing to fear?, the authors said current policies have a "disproportionate effect" on different age and ethnic groups and worries about some being stigmatised. Young black men are "very highly over-represented" the report says, with more than three quarters of those aged 18-35 on the database.

Alan Johnson says there is the need to protect the public, but in a way that's proportionate to the threat. He says: I believe that the government's proposals do precisely that but I also welcome the debate as a necessary part of implementing such sensitive measures.

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