Policing by consent
It always used to be a key principle that policing in this country is done by the community with consent, not by the government. That is why we pay for it on our council tax rather than through the exchequer, and that is why we have Police Authorities - to set the parameters for policing within the relevant force.
This is why it was a big deal when Blunkett moved on the Chief Constable of Humberside after the Soham murders - he was seeking as the executive branch of central government to overrule the police authority, who "represent" the community being policed.
This national DNA register is so significant because it drives another great big nail into the principle of "consent" in policing.
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