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back to article Police reject Labour MP's call for Bristol-wide DNA test

Bristol police have pooh-poohed a Labour MP's call for all men living in Bristol to provide DNA samples in the hunt for the killer of Jo Yeates. Kerry McCarthy, Labour MP for Bristol East and Shadow Junior Minister for the Treasury, was reported in yesterday’s Sunday Express as calling for Bristolians to provide their DNA to …

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WTF?

What a crazy idea to waste money

First off each DNA test cost the police £50 so it will cost over £12000000 plus the cost of overtime for police to do DNA swabs. then the male may not turn up to have his DNA taken or in fact not even live in the area they chose to cover.

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Logic...

.... don't let it get in the way of jumping on a good band-wagon...

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Anonymous Coward

wasting money?

Screw the waste of money, as if that's all that matters. What about the shear ludicracy of the idea?

Does the MP really think the killer is just going to turn up at the police station for "his" DNA test? No, so it would have to be by process of elimination, that means that the police would somehow have to force everyone to allow a DNA sample to be taken. Does the MP think that most people would comply with that? I fucking don't, what an idiot to even think of suggesting such a thing.

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Anonymous Coward

But...

Labour are particularly good at wasting public money...

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This MP

When it comes to being an absolutely dispiccable cretinous piece of scum this MP has form:

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2010/10/26/mp_police_caution/

Its the people or Bristol I feel genuinely sorry for, until I remember that they _chose_ this pond-life to be their representative.

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Anonymous Coward

Process of elimination

Not necessarily, genetic similarities in family members are enough to enable people to be identified.

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@AC : Process of elimination

which is all the more reason for this MP to be locked up for the good of everyone else. Oh, sorry, for sexual discrimination? Harassment of the male population? Well, for something! Please!

She should have called for EVERYONE to be DNA tested and stepped up to be the first. After all, who said the killer was a man, or that they live in Bristol? And, as AC mentioned: If you DNA test the mother or sister or daughter, you'll get a close match which will help narrow down the search (as you would by testing a male relative)

But MP's aren't interested in catching the criminal or helping the people: They just want to be seen to be doing something. Not leading by example, but making noise, much like a small stone rattling around in an otherwise empty can...

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Joke

@ crazy idea to waste money

Why don't they start by getting DNA samples from everyone in the country who works for Eddie Stobart Ltd. That ought to clear up several unsolved murders, rather than just one. They can move on to the rest of the population later.

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Stop

No.

No.

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Anonymous Coward

You know what the headline SHOULD be.

Labour MP Kerry McCarthy in Shameful Career Suicide Headline Grab.

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Coat

You mean in "shameful career advancement" do you?

Career suicide? Labour MP? Suggesting a police state measure?

Sounds more like career advancement to me.

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Anonymous Coward

That's Labour for your

"how can we solve this problem, get rich in the process, AND degrade as many people as possible... though on balance we don't really care about the solving the problem part"

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Labour have spent more than a dacade offering such guilt-edged promises

Begin by assuming guilt. Oblige the entire population to queue up, to prove their innocence. Hand over anyone who resists to DCI Gene Hunt. (We're all just sheep or nonces, after all.)

I seem to remember the Labour Party being some sort of Socialist organisation. Nowadays, it's just Catholicism without the frocks.

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Anonymous Coward

You are closer to the truth than you may think

http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2007/jun/22/uk.religion1

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Big Brother

Labour MP needs to be fired

Everyone wants the killer caught, but DNA testing the entire male population of an area isn't the answer!

Labour get a fucking clue, how much will it take to get the message across to Labour, we don't want their Police State ideas!

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Silver badge

Out of interest...

... has anyone definitively said that it *was* a man/men that committed the crime, or is it just an assumption? Since they don't seem to have a clue who did it, couldn't it conceivably be a woman? I know, it might be unusual, but can it be totally ruled out?

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Coat

Typical Labour

Waste lots of money to achieve absolutely fuck all

But it probably isnt obvious to them that their daft scheme relies on the murderer to provide a DNA sample.

Coat, the one with 'Thank God Im leaving' on the back

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Grenade

No thanks.

Speaking as a man living in Bristol, with nothing to hide, nothing to fear, and knowing Avon and Somerset Police to be among the most corrupt in the country... I wouldn't voluntarily surrender personal information to them.

Perhaps they should take DNA samples from every Labour politician and criminal in Bristol first?

Avon and Somerset Police allowed Kerry McCarthy to escape with a caution (rather than the six months in prison or a £5,000 fine) for revealing postal vote figures on Twitter during the last election.

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Silver badge

Oh yes,

That Kerry McCarthy. The sooner she goes from our fair city the better, if you ask me. Her and Dawn Primarolo, she's a waste of cytoplasm too. The problem is that they'd just be replaced by other politicians, the only change possibly being the colour of their necktie/blouse.

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Flame

we're doomed

how the fuck is it possible for someone that stupid to get elected in this country?

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FAIL

look at the electorate

'nuff said

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Bronze badge

Bright, and sane.....

......compared to Harriet Harperson.

The question should really be:

Why do the conservative women have all the balls, but the labour women are all bollocks ?

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Anonymous Coward

How it is possible for someone that stupid to get elected.

1) Stupid people vote for stupid people;

2) In general the media don't ask intelligent well-considered questions and require good peer-reviewed evidence that substantiates opinionated conclusions before debating issues with politicians. This is because making a big deal out of interviewing fuckwits makes better TV than discussing boring (but pertinent) facts;

3) A lot of people have just lost faith in our political system. Sure you get to choose which fuckwit to represent you every 5 years, but:

a) What if you don't want a fuckwit to represent you? How do you make the fuckwits go away and be replaced by intelligent people?

b) What if you don't want anyone to represent you because you'd rather do it yourself - y'know like you'd be able to in an actual democracy where it's "rule by the people", not "rule by the party-political representatives of the people"?

c) Some people don't want to vote for a party candidate (because the party always comes first, no matter what the candidate (who wants your vote) tells you), and don't have the time or money to stand as an independent themselves.

When people lose faith in the political system the worst people end up coming out best.

4) Party politics forces a partisan mentality upon the electorate, just as the prosecutor/defendant legal system forces an adversarial mentality upon both the legal profession and those people unfortunate enough to be process by the legal system. The adverts don't tell you to vote for the person you consider best for the job (assuming there is one, of course - one bucket of sick is much like another as far as I can tell), they tell you that Labour is bad and Tories are good, that LibDems can save the world and TwoLegs Bad and FourLegs Good and fuck me our political system must be in bad shape if a novel written 65 years ago is still relevant today.

Either that or shit floats to the top.

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Anonymous Coward

@ Anonymous Coward re: "How is it possible ..."?

I just voted for you.

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special offer on 23andMe :)

they just need to do a deal with the Google backed 23andMe.com to offer a special deal for residents in the right post code(s) and people can submit (and pay for) their own :)

especially good idea as it looks like funding cuts are going to close the UK Forensic Science Service - http://www.petitionbuzz.com/petitions/savethefss

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Bronze badge

they're

not going to close it.

It will be "privatised"

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Thumb Down

Well...

I'm in the area they're discussing, about ½ a mile from the poor girls house. Regardless I wouldn't be submitting to this, as a) it's a massively unfeasible idea to execute, b) I've no faith in what they would do with it afterwards, c) they're presupposing that the culprit is both male and lives in the area, d) going forward the police reports would probably refer to all participants as potential suspects, with the rationale behind it lost, e) only the stupidist of criminals would submit to this.

At first I was all set to condemn this McCarthy woman as an opportunistic publicity seeker, however her latest Tweet suggests she said no such thing, so who to believe... A tabloid newspaper or an MP. Tough choice.

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Silver badge

Re: Well

Also don't forget that this check will be recorded on your CRB record as being a potential suspect in the murder of a female.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: on your CRB record

Good point. Even if it doesn't forget to record "one out of every male in the city at that time", that's still going to be a nice phat indelible and not-to-ignore black in that book-o-rumours. Meaning that there will suddenly a curious shortage of teachers and babysitters and such there. Inevitably.

I wonder if that'll be even mentioned in the predictably ensuing clamour for more teachers and child care personnel among the cries of "It's a scandal! The government must DO something!!1!"

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Flame

The government will just bring in more foreigners

That's why the government in the UK doesn't care about how many careers, how many lives, it destroys with CRB checks. If no British person can do the job because none of them can pass the checks, they'll just say that no British person *wants* to do the job and claim that's why they have to let more people into Britain.

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Anonymous Coward

*Sigh* CRB FUD

While I certainly don't disagree with many of the reasons for not giving a DNA sample in this case (mainly because as others have pointed out it would be a complete waste of time and money), the fact that it may show up on a CRB check is not one of them. There is so much rubbish spouted about CRB checks on these pages I feel I have to post to correct some of the myths. For the record I work within a youth service as a youth worker, I have been through the eCRB process and seen and consulted with other managers over other prospective youth workers and their eCRB checks.

First all, just because you have entries on your CRB check that is by no means a barrier to employement with children or vulnerable adults. I've known youth workers with CRB checks as long as your arm (one I've seen stretched over several pages). A CRB check does not say 'do not employ this person' (unlike the now cancelled vetting and barring scheme) it merely lists the stuff held on your file. It is then up to the judgement of the employer to employ you or not, based on the contents of the CRB check.

So for example, petty offences committed as a youth will be listed on the CRB check, but, as an example, if they were committed 10 years ago and the person has been well behaved since then they won't be seen as an issue. In fact, this in the youth service, this sort of life experience is very useful, especially if you may be working with young people who are currently getting into trouble with the law.

Driving offences will also show up, but as long as they are relatively minor they will be no barrier at all - although you may not be able to drive the organisations minibus, for example - again, that is down to the judgement of the employer.

If there's a record of you giving a DNA sample (I'm not even sure if this will appear on a CRB check) it might be querried ('Oh, it says you gave a DNA sample, what was that about', 'I volunteered when the police put a call out to help with their enquiries'), again, it won't be a barrier to any form of employment at all.

Anything related to violent or sexual crimes will almost certainly be a barrier to employment, and quite rightly.

The CRB system is not perfect - it's a pain in the arse having to be checked for every organisation you may work for and it can be expensive for the employers carrying out the checks, but it's by no means anything to be feared or paranoid about.

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Anonymous Coward

re: Well..

"At first I was all set to condemn this McCarthy woman as an opportunistic publicity seeker, however her latest Tweet suggests she said no such thing,"

Well, if she has tweeted then it must be true...

As well as the Sunday Express, the direct quotes have been used by the Indy, BBC News and rather a lot of other news outlets. If she didn't say it, then I would expect her to issue a statement or seek a retraction - however, according to her Twitter feed, she says she's already explained what she meant and doesn't want to go over it again and if you want want she thinks it's all in the feed.

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Anonymous Coward

RE: *Sigh* CRB FUD

>> First all, just because you have entries on your CRB check that is by no means a barrier to employement with children or vulnerable adults.

That's all very well until the first instance where **anything** at all happens to a child and it is found out that the person responsible 'failed' a CRB check. The Daily Wail and it's ilk will be setting up the gallows and wailing about how such a person should never have been employed, blah, blah, blah.

It sounds like your organisation is enlightened. Sadly, in the majority of cases, people are/will be too scared of the possible repercussions to employ anyone who isn't 'clean'. Just like 'elf-n-safety' law doesn't preclude an awful lot of stuff that is being 'banned' in it's name, people are/will be unwilling or simply unable to perform a risk assessment and be prepared to stand up for common sense - instead they'll take the easy way out and simply "ban it".

I can't comment on whether a voluntary DNA check would show up on a CRB check - but I find it hard to believe it wouldn't. Lets face it, by submitting to a check, even voluntarily, your name WILL be associated with an active police enquiry.

So, given that many potential employers will see "DNA check" and think ahead to the possible Daily Wail inquisition (on the assumption that "DNA Check" == "must be a paedophile") and consider that the risk (public humiliation and trial by media) far outweigh the risk (you upset someone) of not employing that person.

So yes, you are technically correct that having this on a CRB record isn't a bar to employment. I think in far too many cases it would be - but only because of the hysteria whipped up by the media and certain politicians over the last decade or so.

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Silver badge

Re: RE: *Sigh* CRB FUD

>I can't comment on whether a voluntary DNA check would show up on a CRB check

It will. If they go down that road the police will need to have a record of who has and hasnt' been tested. Once on, try getting it taken off again. Even if the police gave an assurance that they wouldn't keep the test on file I wouldn't believe them.

@Original FUD poster

>I volunteered when the police put a call out to help with their enquiries

So that's all you have to say to disperse any doubt as to why you've been tested? If you had two potential employees all other things being equal which would you employ, the one with a clean record or the one with a dubious excuse.

If you think that reason is plausible then it negates the whole point of the worthless CRB check as it gives an excuse to everybody.

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Unhappy

re: *Sigh* CRB FUD

"If there's a record of you giving a DNA sample (I'm not even sure if this will appear on a CRB check) it might be queried ('Oh, it says you gave a DNA sample, what was that about', 'I volunteered when the police put a call out to help with their enquiries'), again, it won't be a barrier to any form of employment at all."

On an Enhanced Disclosure, it will be released as an "investigation not leading to prosecution". It won't say "came in as part of a voluntary 000's-wide campaign" - it will imply you were a suspect. You're relying on the person interviewing you to believe your story. Consider if you're interviewing candidates for a job where there are two strong contenders, practically equal but one has an "investigated as part of a murder case" on their Enhanced Disclosure, vs one without, who would you employ?

"Anything related to violent or sexual crimes will almost certainly be a barrier to employment, and quite rightly."

Shoot your argument in the foot why not? This *is* related to a very violent crime. Or at least after the mists of time have descended, it certainly will give that impression. I think you're being a bit naive and blasé with respect to what future governments, police forces or employers will do with this information if it's there. Unfortunately nobody trusts the police to remove your DNA sample afterwards, or to ensure it doesn't tarnish your CRB. Not to mention the thin end of the wedge wrt civil liberties.

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FAIL

And the proof the person was male is?

A guess?

A Stereotype?

A pubicity whore of a MP's perception of good idea?

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Happy

Call it a hunch

...but I'm not sure they'd be asking for DNA if they didn't have something to compare it to, and the (assumed) DNA from the crime scene would be easily identifiable as a male or female.

Of course, that's not to say that the MP isn't a flaming, publicity whoring wanker - no disagreement there

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Gold badge
Boffin

AC@16:07

"...but I'm not sure they'd be asking for DNA if they didn't have something to compare it to,"

From my reading of this report it is *not* the Police who are asking for this.

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WTF?

Not suprising

This is the same stupid bint that decided it was ok to announce the postal ballot count before the election had even started. Apparently it was ok as she only got a caution:

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2010/10/26/mp_police_caution/

What is surprising is the police coming out and saying that it's a stupid idea, that RAF Puma buzzing our office seems to have a pig flying in close formation.

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Big Brother

Same old same old!

Labour: They just can't help themselves, can they?

In power or in opposition, they just have to keep on watching, collecting and cataloguing every last bit of information on or about us.

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Black Helicopters

Nothing to fear = nothing for them to gain

Frankly, I would have something to lose - namely my rights to be left alone as a private individual.

"They" would gain _nothing_ from having my DNA, except the overhead of storing it securely and sucking up CPU cycles on _every_ search.

Lastly, just how does this MP actually know whether there is any DNA evidence to match against?

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WTF?

Idiots unite!

Has the highly intelligent minister considered that the real killer could just leave Bristol while the DNA test is being done ?

What a complete idiot.

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Flame

Par for the course for this MP.

From TheyWorkForYou.Com

http://www.theyworkforyou.com/mp/kerry_mccarthy/bristol_east#votingrecord

Voted very strongly for a smoking ban.

Voted very strongly for a stricter asylum system.

Voted very strongly for allowing ministers to intervene in inquests.

Voted very strongly for Labour's anti-terrorism laws.

Voted very strongly for introducing ID cards.

DNA testing the entire male population of a city is entirely in keeping with her voting record.

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Bronze badge

Strongly?

How do you vote *strongly* then? Commons votes are taken by members going into one of the lobbies of the chamber. Do you have to goose-step through the doorway to vote *strongly*? Is a strong vote worth as much as two weak, ambling sorts of votes? Interested citizens wish for clarification.

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Thumb Down

No, and no!

"It is a massive task to do a DNA swab for the whole of the city but I think if it helps catch the killer it is the right thing to do and people will be happy to do this."

No, it isn't, and no, they wouldn't.

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Anonymous Coward

"happened to be female"?

If the police already have a DNA sample from a suspect then they must already know whether that suspect is male or female. The question is, what else can they (in practice rather than in theory) work out from the DNA? Skin colour? Hair colour? Eye colour?

To the list of ways it could turn out to be a complete waste of time and money: they manage to track down the "suspect", but he turns out to be unconnected to the case.

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Anonymous Coward

AFAIK

...without something to compare it to - in which case it can be used to determine a suspect match or close familial relations - I think the only thing a single DNA match could tell you is the sex of the suspect and *maybe* certain severe (and rare) genetic disorders. I don't believe any physical characteristics, even race, can be determined in this manner.

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And if they have one

It either matches Chris Jefferies or it doesn't. Yet he hasn't been detained again or formally cleared.

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Paris Hilton

Far be it from me to throw stones, but....

Ms McArthy has form for making mistakes. She claimed 'by accident' for a second bed in her one-bed flat - although she did repay the money during the expenses revelations. She is also the lucky recipient of a police caution for breaches of electoral law by revealing postal vote results too early.

So she's not really the kind of person I'd see as being capable of forming a sensible plan.

Of course, for the 'New Labour' fetish of gathering information on every citizen, this idea is a winner.

Paris, because of her involvement in publicised DNA collection events.

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Bronze badge

I'm rather more worried

about the new-labour fetish of selecting women who are mentally retarded.

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