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back to article Scotland Yard criminologist: DNA-print troublemaker kids

A top UK police forensics official has suggested that DNA signatures be taken from children as young as five, if the kids in question were thought likely to become criminals in future. Scotland Yard forensics and criminology chief Gary Pugh landed the police service in hot water at the weekend by suggesting that it's easy to …

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Is that the sound...

of Jack boots matching from the Met.....

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Someone send him

a copy of Gattaca.

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Flame

*sigh*

There's no emoticon for what I'm feeling!

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Black Helicopters

Well, then...

...if you're going to go this far, why not just print everyone in any family under a certain income level? That tends to correlate, too, on a broad scale. People with tons of money don't go around mugging other people, after all.

And then it obviously makes sense to do regular checkups on said poor people, and let employers know so they can keep tabs, too...

Dystopian indeed.

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Linux

Be afraid, be very afraid

So the gov't that cannot currently hold on to the personal information they already have about us, seek to increase this information to help solve crimes that may happen.

Only a couple of more years and you will be able to be sent to prison for thinking of a crime, wait they already do that.

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Tough one..

The morality of this is a difficult one - as trampling on the rights of the few, would probably give a better life for the the many.

I'm on the police database following a slight conviction that I couldn't be bothered fighting against - I had done something silly, and though I could of gotten off scot free, I didn't feel I deserved to, so let them proceed. Net result is that whilst previously I was never a master criminal, I had a more "adventurous" mind so to speak, whilst now I am very conscious of the fact that anything bad that I do is easily traceable.

So now I keep myself very much on the right side of the law, and feel good for it - maybe it would be sufficient incentive for the "yoof trublerz" of today...

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Anonymous Coward

11+ Exams & Vigilantes

We had Grammar schools at 11+. It was based on a theory that by 11 it was detectable whether they'd succeed or fail in their education later in life. However it was later shown to be false, and indeed you can fail your 11+ exam and do well in later education and vice versa, indeed it was very common! Worse still, by putting them into crap schools they increased the overall number of failures. i.e. Educate people as though they're stupid and you make them stupid.

Now someone is saying you can detect *precrime* by 5 and these toddlers should be raised as the criminals they will turn out to be in order to correct the crimes you hypothesize they will commit in future. Which of course will make them into the criminals you hypothesize they are already. Whenever you treat people like shit they treat you like shit in return.

So who is the biggest threat to society in the coming years? Well I vote Gary Pugh as the candidate for that, because he's aiming to take steps that will create criminals in coming years and he's in the unfortunate position to influence thinking.

I would also seek protection for 5-12 years olds smeared by Pugh's false claims, this is slander and libel and may even border on criminal libel. They have not yet learned the debating skills that will protect them from idiots like Pugh.

I point out that Pugh shows a lack of empathy with other people and this is indicitive of psychopathy: "a general term for a range of personality disorders characterized by lack of empathy, socially manipulative behavior, and occasionally criminality or violence." as Wikipedia puts it. i.e. he will have a tendency to attack people he views as a potential future criminal, because in his mind he is right and they will go on to commit crimes which he is saving the world from. So should My Pugh be treated for the future crimes he will commit in my theory? I think so based on his theory.

Plus, I bet he was punk or a mod when he was young. So if we'd caught him when he was young he would have a record that would prevent him becoming the spokesmen for the police, thereby saving us from this drivel.

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Alien

what about the others?

As far as tagging goes, what about the ones who follow extremely mobile lifestyles... I remember part of a movie called Snatch where it would be easier for the people to just up and move camp if they ever committed a crime.

The tagging would be pretty much pointless among the usually un-monitored portions of the population anyway.

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Coat

Why not go the whole hog...

...and put any child we suspect MAY become a criminal into juvenile detention - pre-emtive strike, as it were.

"After all, if it saves just one life it will be worth it"

Next, they'll be saying that they can screen an unborn foetus for criminal tendencies and advise the mother to abort.

Coat icon because I'm seriously considering leaving this country for good.

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Anonymous Coward

In two minds

When I initially saw this I must confess I found myself thinking 'that's a good idea'.

The problem however is it will pave the way for everyone to be catalogued like the nation of crime suspects that the government demonstrably thinks we all are, and that's just unacceptable.

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Coat

The problem is...

he's bloody right. You can identify potential criminals at a young age. The issue is; should they be placed on the database? Probably not.

You could argue however, that their parent(s) should be added for not bringing up their little oiks proper[sic]. So there's an incentive to bring up your spawn in a socially acceptable manner, and in the event of you failing, your DNA is added to the database. Now my understanding of DNA is weak at best however surely when your cute bundle of joy mugs a grandma on the high street and leaves a nice sample of HIS(HER) DNA via spitting etc. there's enough of a similarity to link a relationship and hence catch the little scamp.

There are some truly awful parents who raise some truly awful children, that's the issue that needs addressing.

/Mine's the one with the cotton mouth swabs in the pocket.

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3x2

And this boys and girls...

is why we don't want HMP UK. A country where "you just haven't been caught yet".

I don't think you can ignore Sci-Fi type predictions for the future of this technology quite so quickly. Once we have a national "all in" register don't tell me we won't be reading about one report after another claiming to have identified the "X" gene. The Child molester gene, violent offender correlations, whatever is this weeks flavour of un-desirable.

If you really can predict a childs future and still do nothing about it then there is something seriously wrong with your culture.

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He thinks he is original?

He should think again - many others in the past have come up with ingenious ways of solving crime, before it begins, so to say...

Burning at a stake, sterilising parents, concentration camps - all have been tried before. After all, the Nazies were unsurpassed masters of biometrics - forget about fingerprints, they could tell whether you (and your offspring) will be of any use to the Vaterland just by measuing the distance between your ears...

All these methods had a couple of things in common - they didn't work and they backfired big time.

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@ AC

"I would also seek protection for 5-12 years olds smeared by Pugh's false claims, this is slander and libel and may even border on criminal libel. They have not yet learned the debating skills that will protect them from idiots like Pugh."

I assume you mean "to single children out in this way would be slander and libel" rather than "this is", as "Pugh's false claims" at this stage are just a generalised comment that certain kids may grow up to be criminals - which isn't actionable as it's not aimed at named individuals.

I propose a law that says non-lawyers may not make claims about the legality or otherwise of current affairs matters discussed in the press, as reading the tediously ill-informed constant "I know my rights/this is illegal/they're breaching [some act I half know the name of]/you could sue them for that" nonsense that the internet has enabled is really wearing thin.

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Anonymous Coward

@Tony Barnes, Many vs Few

"The morality of this is a difficult one - as trampling on the rights of the few, would probably give a better life for the the many."

Probably? No, almost certainly the opposite!

He'll single out a group, attack that group and thereby create the criminals he hypothesizes they are. In his theory you can 'unmake' criminals by 'treatment', but you cannot 'make' criminals by 'mistreatment'.

But all the false positives are being unjustly mistreated.

So in his view it does not matter how many false positives he's mistreating because his attack cannot do harm. (lack of empathy... he can see how attacks on himself can do harm, but not attacks on others, ergo he needs to be protected in society from people like him = psychotic behaviour).

Can you *stop* children off on a life of crime, if you can't also *start* them off on a life of crime? And wouldn't you feel more likely to punch a copper who'd punched you? (Why do you think we have words like 'revenge' in our language!).

Likewise if you'd endured a childhood of being treated like a criminal are you more or less likely to become a criminal?

It should be clear he's a dangerous nutter, we have fundamental rights to protect us against such nutters.

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Unhappy

if this goes ahead

it's time to take to the barricades

http://www.theregister.co.uk/Design/graphics/icons/comment/unhappy_32.png

Unhappy

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silly thought

"If you DNA-print kids with a history of vandalism or anti-social behaviour"

but why not actually do something useful about kids with a history of vandalism or anti-social behaviour, like disqualify them from claiming benefits when they grow up, or cancelling their parents benefits, remove them from the NHS etc. The only people who are in a solid position to control children and guide their upbringing are their parents. So there needs to be some way of making them care about what their kids do.

At the moment they seem to be proud of their kids going out and mugging people, and there's nothing the police can really do if the parents don't care.

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Dead Vulture

I hate to suggest a politition may be right but...

"mixing up his biting dystopian commentary with his sci-fi just a tad, we suggest." Just because 1984 is dystopian commentary does not mean it is not science fiction.

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Re: Tough one..

Quote: maybe it would be sufficient incentive for the "yoof trublerz" of today...

No it will not. One the main reasons for them to be troublerz in the first place is the total disconnect between offence and punishment. They are not afraid to get caught, they simly do not care.

Further to this, if all plods start collecting DNA evidence it will not be long before a string of failures due to contaminated material will discredit the entire technique.

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How is DNA profiling in itself a bad thing ?

Putting all secondary issues to one side, every man + dog should be DNA profiled. Why? We live in a world where people think it is acceptable to kidnap a young girl and hide her in a bed. I defy any of you to tell me that is acceptable. People should be scared to commit serious crime becuase they know they will be caught. Enter DNA profiling.

Now, if we're going to talk about database security that's a seperate issue. Let's not forget that.

As for those who will bleat about invasions of privacy, you haven't got a point. How is someone knowing the structure of your DNA invading your ability to maintain a private life? It doesn't. This fear is based on complete mis-information, in a similar manner to people who believe if they eat a GM crop the might somehow absorb the modification. When asked why the same person can eat Beef and not turn into a Cow, they invariably are stumped.

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Anonymous Coward

@Slander and Libel, Irony

'I assume you mean "to single children out in this way would be slander and libel" rather than "this is", as "Pugh's false claims" at this stage are just a generalised comment that certain kids may grow up to be criminals - which isn't actionable as it's not aimed at named individuals.'

At *this* stage?

So you agree it would be at a *later* stage (since you had to put the qualifier in). Cool, lets just keep it as this stage, when it's just an idiot mouthing off at a conference.

Irony....

Pugh wants people to be judged based on their statistical liability to commit a future crime, but you don't want HIM JUDGED by a crime he seeks to commit.

At this stage, I would agree with you, lets just keep it at the idiot mouthing off at a conference stage and not go on to sack him just for attacking the basis of our judicial system. (The innocent until proven guilty basis and the fundamental right of no punishment without judicial process).

He's innocent until he's proven guilty.

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Announcing e-phrenology.com

Okay who's up for creating a start-up?

The pitch is that parents / social workers / the rozzers can send in pictures of kids and we'll use a biometric / neural net / [insert cool tech name here] approach to examine the shape of their skull and categorise the little horrors into one of a number of fields.

Within moments, any child can be tagged for life as a good citizen or criminal scum.

I think we should get a top-notch board of executive directors including Gary Bushell and at least one former Home Secretary. The whole thing can be marketed with a charming animated Artful Dodger 'Oi'd have been on the straight an' narrow if that nice Mister Blunkett had felt me bumps!'

The next stage, a huge Home Office contract under their 'Building an Orwellian Tomorrow' outreach scheme.

So who's in?

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Stop

@ Gregg Iceton

Are you Chris Morris?

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I'm a crim.

Or least I probably would have been had this been in in the 60's.

Mind you, upto age 5 I was a little goody goody. Navy brat, moved around a bit and pretty strict parents.

from age10/11 changed to a little bastard, expelled from school, always in trouble for nicking stuff from shops, a bit of vandalism (not on the scale it seems to be today though) etc.

Then at 15 joined the Army and now a pillar of society!!

Had I been "branded" at 5 or later at 10 then god only knows what would have happened but there is a good possibility I would have said "fuck it" if they think I am a baddun then so be it.

@Gregg Iceton.

What total and utter b.s. A DNA database would not have stopped the kidnapping of a girl (recently) and would not have solved it earlier unless there was DNA evidence at the scene of the crime (don't believe there was)

Invasion of privacy. Of course it is and if you can't see why then you are a bigger prat than those in authority who are persuing these policies.

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Anonymous Coward

@ the liberal PC nutters

They should live where I do and watch the liitle toe rags grow up from little fuckers aged 5 who toss bricks through peoples windows, to big fuckers aged 18 who follow the brick to nick stuff to pay for their drugs habbit.

Unfortunately their is no punishment. They know that they can do what they like and get away with it.

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Flame

It's been said before but it bears repeating..

You'll get my DNA of my cold, dead body.

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@Gregg Iceton

Dear Daily Mail Reader,

"Putting all secondary issues to one side, every man + dog should be DNA profiled. Why? We live in a world where people think it is acceptable to kidnap a young girl and hide her in a bed. I defy any of you to tell me that is acceptable. People should be scared to commit serious crime becuase they know they will be caught. Enter DNA profiling."

And I defy you to give me an example of how DNA profiling would have been in any way useful in the case to which you are alluding. Clue : It wouldn't. Better clue : Case successfully resolved, child safe, perp in custody, no DNA required.

"As for those who will bleat about invasions of privacy, you haven't got a point."

Have so.

"How is someone knowing the structure of your DNA invading your ability to maintain a private life? It doesn't."

Since DNA is the chemical template for my entire organism, I fail to see your point that having it sampled and on file is NOT an invasion of my privacy. Sure, it doesn't stop me from having a private life, I can still bum rent boys if I choose to do so. Doesn't stop it from being a vile and invasive practice though (that's the DNA database, not the bumming)

"This fear is based on complete mis-information,"

a) be careful with statements like that when you engage technical professionals.

b) what, you mean like your next sentence ?

"in a similar manner to people who believe if they eat a GM crop the might somehow absorb the modification. When asked why the same person can eat Beef and not turn into a Cow, they invariably are stumped."

Well, I'm stumped, stumped as to how you got from "Total DNA profiling is not an invasion of privacy" to "It's just like eating GM beef". And stumped as to why someone with your obviously towering intellect would hang out with such a bunch of morons, unless you met them in the Daily Mail's interactive forums, of course.

You are clearly rather confused. About several things, including why you shouldn't allow the machinery of a totalitarian state to be erected around you while you blather on about "Nothing To Hide, Nothing To Fear" with your fellow DM reading pond scum.

The people who ticked the box labelled "Jewish" on the German census of 1939 probably felt the same, and it didn't work out particularly well for them. And lets not forget that their plight was ignored for a long time, because no one, even the people who were engaged in a bloody great brutal shooting war with them, believed for a minute that the German state could do something so utterly horrible.

Your argument is intellectually bankrupt and incoherent, please try again.

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@ greg iceton

So do you then agree with what happened to the Jews and other minorities during the late 30's early 40's.

All the original policies were brought in to protect the public, don't think that really happened.

My issue is that if say I am a political dissident, they have my info on a db and when I am covered out making a protest over toletarian (probably spelt wrong) rules being brought in or a book I have purchased or checked out they can then use my DNA to track me down and jail me. Sound a bit too far fetched for you. Take a look around as it is currently happening here, in the land of the free, and the great white north.

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@Gregg Iceton

"We live in a world where people think it is acceptable to kidnap a young girl and hide her in a bed."

And which world do you think your father lived in? And your grand father? And grand grand father?

Oh, I'm sure in Chingiz Khan's time it was totally unacceptable - they had no beds, to start with!

And in the case of that particular girl how exactly did DNA profiling helped find her?

Most "pedofiles", for your information, are otherwise exemplary citizens without any history of violence and crime.

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Anonymous Coward

Nostrapughness

"Why? We live in a world where people think it is acceptable to kidnap a young girl and hide her in a bed."

If only Mr Pugh had had his way in the past, he could prevent this! In fact, he could prevent lots of things, oh why in the world do people not listen to Nostrapughness and his 20-20 foresight?

Are Mr Pughs spidey senses tingling? Does his charts foretell of a future kidnapping? We need to consult Nostrapughness immediately to find out who to prepunish for the future crimes that only he, Mr Pugh can foretell.

Computer says no.

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@Tony Barnes

"The morality of this is a difficult one - as trampling on the rights of the few, would probably give a better life for the the many."

No, the morality of that is not difficult. If you think that trampling on peoples' rights is OK just because there aren't that many of them, you need to rethink your morals.

Some of the other posters here are downright terrifying. Take healthcare away from kids with parents who have been in trouble? What in God's name are you smoking, people?!

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Coat

Let's just get it over with ...

Barcode at birth, or why not just tattoo a unique number code on everyone's wrist.

Mines the one with the pink triangle on the back.

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@ Greg

I suggest you do a bit of research on the odd's of matching profile.

You use the usual high profile scare case scare tatics. One problem, there will be several thousand people with a similar profile to that of the person who held her.

I hope it's yours, then when arrested and released, the local malitia (AKA concerned parents), get wind that you were arrested and releases, despite your DNA matching that of said kidnapper.

You will then be beaten, your house burnt down and your life ruined for good.

Won't happen?

Already has.

The Sun a few years ago released the name of a known paedo and that is exactly what happend. The problem? He was totally innocent, just happend to have the same name.

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Stop

@ Gregg Iceton

Have you curtains at your bedroom and bathroom windows?

Do you put letters in envelopes?

Have you ever uttered the phrase "I just want to be alone with my thoughts" ?

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Coat

I'm all for the idea

You could add some simple psychological stress tests for young and not so young adults and remove the 3-4% percent of sociopaths from society ASAP, put them in a nice little home on an isolated Island surveilled by predator drones.

Of course, you would get rid of large swath of the political glitterati and a bunch of civil serpents in the same sweep (not to mention Internet trolls and other various riffraff), but you can't make an omelette without breaking a few eggs, can you?

Mine's the long black leather one with the Passierschein in the left pocket.

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Joe
Boffin

Profiling is not the problem

I agree with the general idea that collecting DNA from innocents to stop crime before it happens is a bad idea. The thing I don't get is WHY things are so cushy for the scumbags who commit crime? TV's, Playstations, Pool Tables.....If you are convicted and sentenced for a crime, you have to pay a punishment, not chill out in a cell like it was your bedroom at home! I have a 'friend' who told me the other day why he doesn't fear prison anymore, because you get to watch TV, Exercise and drugs are easier to come by in prison than on the street....If you make people fear prison, surely this would have more of an effect! 23 Hour lock down and an empty cell so you can sit there bored out of your mind and think what a fucking asshole you have been!!!!! Maybe that would get better results! Oh and before anyone jumps in with Human Rights, sorry but if you kidnap, rape, murder etc someone, you sign away your human rights like you did to the victim when you committed your crime!

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Anonymous Coward

"hide her in a bed"

"We live in a world where people think it is acceptable to kidnap a young girl and hide her in a bed. I defy any of you to tell me that is acceptable."

I haven't really followed that story, but would DNA have made any difference here?

I don't think that behaviour is acceptable, and I'm sure that most people wouldn't, BUT, was it not resolved through neighbours and others speaking to the police, and thus ensuring the abductors discovery?

If DNA sampling becomes more common, surely it will simply "up" the level of preparation that criminals need to go through - Gone are the days of a pair of gloves and a stocking on the head, now we will see the advent of full body shaves, sterile jumpsuits, and quite possibly, getting your accomplice to hoover you in order to remove any other teltale dna evidence before "the big job". And let's not forget the old favourite of planting some muppets discarded fag butts and stray hairs at the scene to give the Police an instant culprit.

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Anonymous Coward

Sure they can have my DNA...

...and whatever other information the sad little muppets want - with the exception of ANY money or assetts (robbing the dead, sorry "inheritance tax" - how grotesque) when I'm dead, and not before. I will happily spend some (more) time at `her majesties pleasure` if needs be, it's really not so bad. Everything is paid for, and you get to meet some very interesting characters, plus it it wonderful if you like to have peace and quiet in which to study. Build more prisons boys, you're gonna need them.

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Nineteen Eighty-Four

is not only science fiction, but the best science fiction book ever written. Just because there's no laser guns doesn't mean it's not SF - and besides, 1984 does actually feature yet-to-be-invented technologies which are a cornerstone of the dystopia (the telescreens which allow universal surveillance, and the Floating Fortresses - gigantic impregnable battleships - which protect the dystopia from outside interference). It fits pretty much every definition of SF you can think of.

Anyway, having done with the pedantry, here's your open debate, Mr Pugh: no. No. No no no no no. If you treat people like criminals, they're likely to become them. If DNA helps prevent crime, then why isn't Britain the safest country in the world, since we have the largest DNA database?

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Dead Vulture

Re: Grant

> "mixing up his biting dystopian commentary with his sci-fi just a tad, we suggest."

> Just because 1984 is dystopian commentary does not mean it is not science fiction.

1984 *was* science fiction. Today 1984 is a commentary of life in 5-10 years time.

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Joke

Eugenics is the answer

Clearly we can't have pre-five year-olds committing 'crime' either so the best thing we can do is stop their parents from having children at all.

There is clear evidence that where a parent has done time any offspring will do too. I rest my case m'lud!

BTW Joke Alert icon just in case someone believes this could be solution. Trying to predict an individual's influence from/on society is futile.

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Re: The problem is...

AC, the problem with that reasoning is that it is only half the equation. You get nearly the same accuracy of detection if you just assume ALL are criminals.

I.e. you can MIS-IDENTIFY criminals at an early age.

You forgot that bit.

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DR

it's that old if you've got nothing to hide thing again

if you've got nothing to hide then there's no problem right?

I don't plan on commiting a crime. so I don't mind if my DNA goes on record.

and maybe if there was everyones DNA on record it'd stop people raping other/committing crimes that leave DNA evidence.

preention is better than cure right?

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@Gregg Iceton

Apart from the others' valid appraisal of why this is bad, another reason this is bad is because of the disparity of powers in the system.

Think about it.

If you're accused of a criminal act, you get your DNA taken.

MPs have been accused of criminal acts with regards to Honours for Cash. Including the PM.

Is Tony's DNA on the database?

A company will be able to ask for your DNA profile and how it ranks for bad behaviour.

Will you be able to get the DNA profile of the CEO/BoD for the company hiring you to see if there's a tendency to defraud in their profile?

When it comes to the NIR, your information will be there and any government department (and any MP, policeman, TVLA officer, bank employee...) will be able to access your information stored to see if you're a risk.

Will you get access to their information?

DNA registration will only be benign if EVERYONE gets on there and EVERYONE gets access. That won't happen. Because, for example, there will be employees of the government pretending to be someone else. Does their DNA match? Yes? You've got a spy.

This is why "if you have nothing to hide" doesn't work. Ask your local MI5 head to give out their secrets and you suddenly hear that there are things to hide and you shouldn't be asking.

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Doing a job

If it is possible to remove the emotion from this argument (and perhaps it's not), we'd see that the gentleman is only proposing something that would make his job easier - his job being solving crimes.

In order for any society to function peacefully, there has to be a general agreement on rules of behaviour. In the past, in Britain, that agreement was enforced with shame, ostracism and incarceration. (Okay, further back it was enforced with transportation, hanging and amputation but it's my post so I'll pick my timeframe.) Over time and because of prevailing attitudes, shame and ostracism became unworkable and, because of those and a number of other factors, incarceration no longer has much effect on the rule-breakers.

Another factor in a workable society is an acknowledgement that each person serve a purpose in life greater than themselves. This factor has been eroded by our benefits culture and the aforementioned factors that dispensed with shame and ostracism as controls over bad behaviour.

So what is a poor copper to do? Society - such as it is today - demands that he reduce crime and catch the crims. However, society no longer takes the part in that process that it used to so Plod is, more and more, left on his own to figure out ways to get the job done. Where society used to provide help with the job, it's no surprise that a policeman would now turn to technology.

Now few policemen are skilled sociologists and only some are deft politicians. While I agree with the general thought that it's possible to point out a youngster and say that, not only is he/she a bad 'un now but also that he/she will be a bad 'un in future. But that allows no room for the thousands of factors that can change a life and certainly no room for error in judgement.

So, while the thought might have some merit, speaking it did not. However, all of those who are bleating on this site about 'thought crime' and 1984, in calling for this guy's head for voicing his thoughts are you not guilty of the same crime?

When we decided - as a society - to give up our responsibility for enforcing our own rules we created the gap into which this guy and people like him are stepping.

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What's the point of profiling the kids?

Police Work is not an easy job. I do NOT speak from experience.

It seems to me that this is just a way to make the job easier for the plods. Wait for a crime, find the DNA, lock up the criminal.

It's one step further on from: Wait for a Crime, look at the pictures, lock up the criminal when someone identifies them.

I'd prefer: Stop the crimes from happening by having a couple of the UKs finest Boys and Girls in Blue walking the streets looking for trouble and gently persuading any troublemakers to bugger off.

If the punishments fitted the crime, or rather, if the punishments fitted the fear that the crime creates, then yes, by some quirk of Doublethink, I could possibly, conceivably be persuaded that maybe simplifing the identification of the criminals may not be an absolutely evil thing, but they don't. Fines don't make a positive difference when you're stealing money for food, drink, drugs or whatever in the first place.

Help, please, I'm turning into my Dad.

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Alien

Major/minor crime

How often is DNA evidence used to solve minor crimes, it's only ever referred to being used to solve the big serial killer/nutter cases? No-one I know who's been mugged/burgled/etc. has ever had a DNA collected SOCO round.

What's the cost/benefit analysis on the cost of getting all this data and the benefit of being able to solve a relatively trivial number of big (i.e. reportable on the news for more than 1 day) crimes

And I've been told this morning that CCTV evidence doesn't count according to the police. Friends car's been getting vandalised so he put a camera on it, the pictures are brilliant and show the miscreant's face quite clearly. According to the plod who came round they don't count even though he recognised the yoof. So anyone who's been convicted on any CCTV evidence should be freed :S

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(Written by Reg staff)

Re: it's that old if you've got nothing to hide thing again

Well, that's watertight, DR. I'd certainly feel a lot safer walking home late at night knowing that the shifty man following me knows he has his DNA on file and therefore will suppress his beastly urges. In fact, when it's warm out I might just head out wearing nothing but some frilly knickers and a smile. Can't wait for the future, me.

I thought I'd put your email address up here, by the way, that OK with you?

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(Written by Reg staff)

Re: Major/minor crime

Actually some bloke went into my flat years ago and nicked my wallet and left a fag butt behind, and the police got him on the DNA from it. So it does happen with small stuff. I was surprised myself that they'd bother, but I suppose it counted as burglary. Impressed they could get it from a dog end, too.

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@Sarah Bee

"In fact, when it's warm out I might just head out wearing nothing but some frilly knickers and a smile."

Awerhrhwhehrrr...

Sorry, lost control for a minute.

:-)

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