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back to article Home Office to keep innocent DNA samples

The Home Office has rejected European Court of Human Rights demands that innocent people should not have their DNA stored on the national database. Instead samples from people arrested for, but not convicted of serious violent or sexual crimes, will be removed after 12 years. The DNA profiles of those arrested but not convicted …

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Anonymous Coward

same

Same mental bitch that bans people that say loopy things infact creates illegal laws counter to not only our nations basic prinicples but also the continents, why the hell can't we put her on a list of hooligans that have wrecked this nation and need dumping on a small island in the middle of the ocean.

At least Savage just spouts views mixed with some junk that can easily be debunked by anyone with more then 10 braincells (which Smith doesn't have, crazy whack job just keeps falling back on the same old tatt of protecting moral values), this batty witch is wrecking our whole way of life.

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Stop

WTF

Are they joking? Why are they keeping innocents' DNA?

Wacko smith gth.

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Rough Translation...

Jacqui Smith said: "These new proposals will ensure that the all inocent people are on it, and never considering where people should come off. We will ensure that the most inocent of people and childeren are added to the database no matter when or where they were convicted."

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Good grief

First reaction: AAAAAARRRRRRRGH!!!

Second reaction: Who will be the poor sod taking the UK to court next time?

Third reaction: More to the point, will the British electorate take Wacqui Jacqui to task before the European Court do? It's going to be a close run thing...

If you have nothing to hide you have nothing to fear ... except the bungling incompetence of a wannabe-Stalinist government.

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DPA

Isn't there a clause in the DPA about retaining data for the minimum period necessary?

I don't actually think that "Until the end of time" is a reasonable minimum period. I cannot actually see "for the offenders life time" being necessary either.

Why should a person who offends _once_ have their DNA profile retained until they die? How about a retention period of, say, 20 years for a convicted person. If a person doesn't reoffend within 20 years of their first offense I doubt that anyone would call them habitual criminals (or possibly they are very good crims.) But an habitual criminal, one who reoffends regularly would keep restarting the 20 retention, keeping their profile on the database for much longer.

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Black Helicopters

Slightly innocent.

I see.

So if I get arrested because someone makes a false rape allegation, my DNA stays on the database for 12 years. If I get arrested because someone make a false allegation of shoplifting it stays on for 6 years, and if I don't get arrested at all I stay off the database.

The Today programme interview with Home Office muppet Vernon Coaker was quite revealing. He kept saying that studies had shown that those arrested for serious offences went on to commit *further* offences.

Note that he said *further* offences, even though they hadn't been convicted at all. Nicely illustrates the way Wacky and her barmy army think. "You are all scum who are up to no good. Its just a matter of catching you!"

Guilty until proven innocent, and even then you aren't quite as innocent as everyone else.

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Proto-criminals

The argument for keeping the profiles of those arrested but never charged of any crime is that it "will reduce crime in the future". So there you go, the cops arrested you but you didn't do anything THIS TIME, but YOU WILL in the future, as sure is eggs is eggs and now we've got your DNA we will catch you next time Or so our rather rabid Home Secretary seems to believe.

Sort of Innocentish until found guilty, or is it guilty of something but we don't know what until found guilty?

Basically it means that once you have been arrested once you are a suspected criminal for the next 6 or 12 years.

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Leading from the Front Benches with a Clear and Unequivocal Endorsement

"The Home Office has rejected European Court of Human Rights demands that innocent people should not have their DNA stored on the national database."

If that be the case, then all Members of Parliament and their staff should be immediately required to provide DNA samples to the database and if National Biometric ID cards are to be trialed, also tagged to provided Feedback ......... as it is only right and proper/fair and equitable that they should show an Admirable Pioneering Lead in everything that they would propose to legislate for and defend as necessary.

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Dead Vulture

So not guilty does not actually apply anymore

If it was anyone other than this demented lunatic Jacqui Smith I would be surprised at this.

It now seems that even if you are proved to be completely innocent of the crime, what you were suspected of will decide how long they want to keep your DNA for. In otherwords as far as that madwoman is concerned just because you somehow managed to be classed as innocent you MUST be guilty of something and the worse the suspected crime is the more guilty you must be.

Since when did she become a higher power than the EU human rights. Oh sorry I forgot as far as she is concerned we have no rights other than to live in the open prison that the UK is becoming.

Someone please, please take her out the back and bury her. The lunatics are firmly in control in this mad place

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Leading from the Front Benches with a Clear and Unequivocal Endorsement*

"The Home Office has rejected European Court of Human Rights demands that innocent people should not have their DNA stored on the national database."

If that be the case, then all Members of Parliament and their staff should be immediately required to provide DNA samples to the database and if National Biometric ID cards are to be trialed, also tagged to provided Feedback ......... as it is only right and proper/fair and equitable that they should show an Admirable Pioneering Lead in everything that they would propose to legislate for and defend as necessary.

* How much Simpler can IT be.

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Pirate

Will it satisfy the court?

Well presumably it will take about 8 years from the date the law IS changed (note the Home Office is not doing ANYTHING yet, just 'consulting') for someone to find out. Plenty of time to grow the database a lot more, and think up some great excuses for, say, universal sampling.

Meantime: http://reclaimyourdna.org/

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But this....

Just makes it worse. There is no longer the "just incase" argument they used to have. The 6/12 year split highlights the feeling that this mad bint thinks that no-one arrested is inocent, and it is just a matter of getting more evidence next time.

I do hope that the EU don't cave in this one.

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Black Helicopters

Ok, so....

Someone explain why we are part of the EU if we are just going to ignore anything that's mildly inconvienient? Why do our gov think they are above the EU courts? Someone needs to arrest them and add them to the database for doing this - I'm pretty sure contempt of court would cover this response ;)

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Not strictly "innocent"

Keep in mind that when the Police arrest you, the CPS (Crown Prosecution Service) will decide whether to press charges based on the potential success rate and cost of the investigation/prosecution, and not the amount of evidence piled against you. In my time with the Police, I saw a ridiculous amount of charges dropped simply because it was a waste of time and money to push them through the courts , because other more serious offences were waiting in line. These included offences like Assault, Theft, Criminal damage and various public order offences. Make your own decision, but if there's a guy who has a history of being arrested for bashing your car up with a baseball bat because he was drunk, he's arrested, his DNA is sampled, and then he's released and not charged - do you think they should keep his DNA?

Up to you to decide.

Oh and the 12 year olds on the database are there for a reason - muggings, theft, assault, violent crime, criminal damage - you name it. Most of them end up as career criminals - I don't see the interest in destroying their records? If they never commit another crime they shouldn't have anything to worry about...

Gentlemen - begin the flaming!

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Stupid, stupid woman.

The European Court of Human Rights has ruled it is illegal for the UK to keep DNA profiles of innocent people.

The judgement is S. AND MARPER v. THE UNITED KINGDOM, 2008. Go to http://echr.coe.int/echr/en/hudoc, select HUDOC Database and search for 'UK DNA'.

What part of this don't you understand, Jacqui? You are not competent for public office.

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Time limit

This may be a daft idea, but why not keep it for the same length of time as in the rehabilitation of offenders act? Or is that too joined up for nu labour?

Oh and no no no to the retention of innocent peoples dna data

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Unhappy

As much as I hate it...

...its quite clever. Comply with the requirements of European judgement, while completely ignoring the spirit of the judgement. Fiendish.

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Maths

Was wondering if there was the maths to show wacki how, well not evil, lets say damaging she is :-

Defence budget / monitoring of Uk public < 1 = Surveillance society

International budget / monitoring of UK citizens < 1 = Surveillance society

something like that anyway......

Oh and to Jacki just 'No', innocent people are INNOCENT.

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It's one law for the rich....

So tell me: Jeffrey Archer did bird for the pretty serious crime of perjury. Is his DNA profile on there?

Waqui Jaqui gets arrested (hopefully) for fraud over her expenses. Does her profile get taken? Definitely "watch this space" I reckon.

I don't think the general public realise the full import of this. The UK is now taking itself out of the realm of the European Human Rights Act. It is also reversing a fundamental rule of law - innocent until proven guilty.

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Bloody Home office

European court say NO and tell UK to change their Law.

Home Office make slight change to make it appear they are complying but in reality it's a big 'fuck you, we'll do what we want' to the European Court.

Get these assholes out of power now!

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Flame

Sorry for the language, but...

Sorry for my language, but this is just taking the fucking piss.

I hope Liberty, or someone, manage to get Jacqui Smith, Vernon Coaker, etc, done by the European Court of Human Rights for contempt. I hope they get chucked in the slammer for a good, long time.

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Ash
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All are guilty.

When reporting crimes you witness, you become a suspect.

Suspects get arrested and put on the database for six years, just in case you re-offend.

What was that? You didn't commit a crime in the first place? You were reporting a crime you witnessed, being a concerned citizen?

Tough.

I'll be writing to my MP to bring a vote of no confidence against Jaqui.

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Shocking

Though not surprising from this terrible government.

Roll on the election.

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Anonymous Coward

The trouble with politicians is........

They are far more willing to listen to a real victim, or a tabloid editor, than to the rest of us. Can you imagine the headlines generated when it transpires that a serial rapist or child molester gets away with it for years because his DNA keeps getting erased, each time he is arrested for similar offences, but cleared, or not prosecuted for insufficient evidence.

You and I might say, so it goes, but, any Home Secretary, regardless of political colour, knows that it's easier to stand up to liberals, than political adversaries and tabloid editors when a child or sex crime goes unpunished. Sadly all our politicians are moral cowards these days, and prefer quick cheap and popular, over due process and right. Sorry, but there it is, if you want it changed, become a politician, oh wait, you won't succeed as your views are considered unpopular, even if they are right.

No matter what you think of the current incumbent of the Home Office, it could have been far worse, and by the way, its possible that most of these things weren't her idea in the first place. It takes a long time to get some of these things through, so for most policies you need to look who was pushing for it five years ago.

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posts above....

OMG, I cannot believe some of the posts. Personally I think we should all be profiled at birth.

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Kept forever

Backups never go away.

Plus of course - politicians and police always lie

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Now they see it

In case any of you english types were ever confused as to why any country would ever wish to leave the great and wonderful english empire, you may now be seeing it.

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Happy

4th June 2010

That's the deadline. I can feel the voting itch now. Then goodbye and good riddance!

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Unhappy

6 years? 12 years?

Would this be acceptable to the European court if it was 75 years? After all, they're only keeping it temporarily.

The government''s position seems to be that we're all guilty, we just haven't been caught yet.

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Anonymous Coward

The point

You're all guilty of something. It's just a matter of time until they find out what. Then your place on the register will be completely justified.

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Want a terrorist for a neighbour?

Vote Labour!

(I was arrested and had my DNA and prints taken for typing that)

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Unhappy

"not serious criminal" different to "not minor criminal"???

Can someone explain to me how you define the set of people who haven't committed a serious crime, as being different to the set of people who haven't committed a minor crime?

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A title is required.

The DNA Nazis have arrived

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This'll be popular...

While I hate Labour with a passion, the whole DNA database arguement confuses me. If everyone is on the database, it makes bringing criminals to justice that much easier. If someone tells me how i'd happily submit mine for permanent inclusion on the d'base, since i have no intention of ever murdering anyone. Yes, the people they're taking samples from now are innocent (although the guilty are being sampled too) but that doesn't mean they will never commit a crime. Nobody is suggesting that they all will, but statistically SOME of them will, and if they do and a DNA trace is found they will be that much easier to trace.

Take for example the guy who was released after 20 years in prison for murder a couple of months ago. Upon re-examining the case they have a DNA sample from the killer. So if that person happens to submit a sample they'll get him. If there was a national d'base they'd already know who he was.

Everyone is getting so touchy-feely about their details being on databases, FFS if you pay tax your details are on a database, if you have credit they're on a database, i'd be much more concerned about these details being abused. If someone leaves a laptop with my DNA profile on it in a taxi and identity thieves get it, what use is it? Unless they're cloning more than credit cards i'm not that worried.

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MnM
Go

All your base pairs are belong to us

We're all out of options people:

Step 1) devise flawed DNA encryption technology

Step 2) experiment upon ourselves

Step 3) mutate!

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Heavy sanctions please, EU

Untli these criminals are brought into line. That's all.

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Today interview

Those commenters who say that the government have created a system where, once you are arrested, you are assumed guilty, will love today's BBC R4 Today interview with Home Office Minister Vernon Coaker (http://news.bbc.co.uk/today/hi/today/newsid_8037000/8037364.stm).

He repeatedly says that the advantage of the DNA DB is that it catches innocent people who re-offend.

No, he really says that. Twice.

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Not bothered

I don't see the bother. Profile everyone and get on with it. As long as it's accepted that DNA evidence alone can't convict I don't see the problem.

Although I did think the Today interview in which the guy kept stating that people who hadn't been convicted were likely to offend AGAIN was very funny. The interviewer kept trying to help him out but he was just too stupid to realise that what he was saying was wrong.

Of course, we all know that plenty of guilty people get off or aren't even charged because of costs, time, court priorities etc. But we're also smart enough not to go on national radio and call them criminals :)

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b
Flame

Personally I think we should all be profiled at birth.

Personally I think you should have been drowned at birth.

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Innocent until proven guilty went a long time ago

"It is also reversing a fundamental rule of law - innocent until proven guilty."

This principle was got rid of when you became responsible for speeding offences in your car - if you couldn't or wouldn't tell the police who was driving you got convicted, even if the police had no evidence to prove it was you.

This is merely an extension of that.

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Anonymous Coward

thick pigs

An anonymous pig wrote:

"If they never commit another crime they shouldn't have anything to worry about..."

Blighty certainly leads the field in the stupidity of our pigs!

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Anonymous Coward

@A.C. Thursday 7th May 2009 09:30 GMT

How dare you interrupt our rightous anger at the Mad Witch with actual experience and tough-to-call situations!

You're not Nightjack, by any chance? The style is very simmilar (www.nightjack.wordpress.com)

The difficulty with delete-if-no-conviction is cases like Ian Huntley, who had only allegations, not convictions before murdering Holly Wells and Jessica Chapman. Would the Scottish system of deleting after 3 years if innocent be workable?

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RE:Not strictly "innocent"

Yes strictly "innocent". You don't dicide whos guilty, nither do the CPS. No trial. Person is innocent. Simple realy. And if you think that is up to the police to dicide then Im glad you no longer work for them. You seem to be one of the people giving the police a bad name. "I got im for being black in the wrong place. The blood is from where he resited arrest. He said "it wont me that done it" then I 'it 'im for lieing"

Please go and write out 100 times "Innocent unless proven guilty" untill you learn one of the basic pemises of UK law.

"If they never commit another crime they shouldn't have anything to worry about..."

Is your DNA on there? And that is not the point, the point is the attitude of people like you, and the government, to treat everyone like criminals. Keep them living in fear and guilt at all times. This will do nothing but keep them unhappy.

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Anonymous Coward

Power grab

ECHR decision are binding. So she's grabbing power away from the courts, power away from Parliament, power away from her boss Brown and basically sticking up two fingers and saying "you can't touch me, I'm too powerful!".

That's the substance of her position. Civil servants should remember that she cannot demand they break the law. If they do her bidding over Parliaments bidding then they are liable.

Presumably now, Brown will have to back her, since he cannot sack her. And the Labour MPs in Parliament will put on a brave face and pretend they're happy to be outside of the Human Rights legislation.

Notice the same backers, Woollas, Balls, Blears, Vaz, etc. are backing HER and not Brown, so presumably they see her as the future leader of the Labour party.

I think she'll run as a leader against Brown.

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@ anonymous ex-plod

"Oh and the 12 year olds on the database are there for a reason - muggings, theft, assault, violent crime, criminal damage - you name it. Most of them end up as career criminals - I don't see the interest in destroying their records? If they never commit another crime they shouldn't have anything to worry about..."

I was 12 the first time I was involved with the police. A kid blamed me for damaging his school bag (to avoid trouble from his parents) and plod came round to my house and tried to bully me into confessing on the basis that it "would be easier for everyone". Nowadays, I'd be kept on the database solely because of the accusation of a schoolchild.

Given that I spent my teenage years being stopped and searched by the police on an almost weekly basis I would inevitably have run up against the "no smoke without fire" attitude and the fact that I was on the database would work against me.

As for "most of them end up as career criminals", care to back that up with some figures? No? Thought not.

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@Simon Miles

Simon writes:

"If someone tells me how i'd happily submit mine for permanent inclusion on the d'base, since i have no intention of ever murdering anyone"

Anyone can volunteer to go on the database. Simply go to your local police station and asked to be swabbed, it takes a couple of minutes. Good luck with that.

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Re: Not strictly "innocent"

So the justification for undermining the fundamental principle of Innocent until Proven Guilty comes down to cost !? That pretty much sums up UK PLC doesn't it. Everything is target driven - cost / efficiency.

The side-effect of having to letting "criminals" go because its too expensive to send them to trial does not justify everyone else losing their basic human rights and innocent people being treated like criminals.

How about fixing the problem and not try to work around the side-effects of it; remove the target-driven systems that don't work and invest in systems that do.

The many are getting tired of suffering because of the few, and the government's inability to see the difference.

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Two things

I understood a post from amanfrommars, and agreed with it. What is going on?

@AC 0930 “Not strictly innocent”

I understand your point, but the thinking is backwards.

Here are the options:

“Should we

(a) improve our Criminal Justice system such that we can properly prosecute and punish all offenders, or

(b) should we profile the DNA of the entire country?”

Having the DNA of these people who keep on being released without charge despite doing something criminal is pointless – all it means is the rozzers can arrest him faster without any detective work and then release him without charge again. The point of all that being, well, what exactly. We’ve spent money on keeping his DNA to be back where we were anyway. Then we spend more money fighting the EC. Why not just spend it sensibly.

Meanwhile genuine innocents caught up in events are on the database forever.

All it takes is the Government to sort out the criminal justice system, and remove the problem you highlight.

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Re Not strictly "innocent" by AC@09:30

That depends. Has the person concerned been convicted of a crime by a court of law? The answer in the example you've given is no. So, no, there is no legitimate reason to keep that person's DNA.

As a country with the rule of law, we don't tolerate vigilantes (for example) regardless of how right their actions may be. Same applies here. Perhaps sometimes our perception of law and justice differs, but that can be resolved by ensuring CPS decide prosecutions on merit, not by "innocent UNTIL proven guilty", but "innocent UNLESS proven guilty". ... By the court of law, not a politician.

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Anonymous Coward

Two Things

I personally think that everyone with a criminal record should have to submit a sample and that includes people who have already served time and not had a sample taken. Otherwise samples should be removed.

Also if the government can defy the European Court on this can't they defy all the other rulings they seem to follow cravenly?

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