Chewing gum victories
"The evaluation of the DNA Expansion Programme demonstrates that the NDNAD provides the police with approximately 3,000 matches per month (over 40,000 matches were declared in 2004/05) (see Box 2).15 The chance of a new crime scene profile matching an individual’s profile already held on the NDNAD is 48 per cent."
So what's the false positives in this? One of the problems with the UK is these 'cautions', mini penalties and magistrate tried cases. They're so tempting, compared to the lengthy process of proving your innocence, but if you accept the caution then you go on the statistics as a successful prosecution. That man cautioned after his DNA was found on a vandalized post box could so easily have just accepted the caution, and the case would be flagged as a successful prosecution.
So what are the numbers when all the non custodial crimes are removed?
When I read that C&E had confiscated 10,000 vehicles in 2000/2001 for smuggling tobacco or alcohol, I wondered how many of those were simply people with insufficient resources or money to fight the confiscation in the first month. They have to find the money to buy a new car, catch up after their holidays and find the time and money to fight to get their old car back with a slim chance of success, (as C&E puts it on their website, their policy is to keep confiscated items).
When I searched to find out how many of those 10,000 were later convicted of smuggling, I found it was a negligible number. Almost all of those vehicles came from people not prosecuted for a crime. i.e. false positives. Yet customs and excise tout this as a huge success, and cite two or three sample cases of people hiding tobacco in their cars. (They shouldn't have to hide it, we have free movement of goods, they should bring it in with pride). Quite simply C&E treated all confiscations that were not appealed as smugglers that were caught.
This is a disgrace, nearly 10000 people suffered a hefty penalty without a judicial process.
So how many people will face a DNA prosecution simply because it's too difficult and expensive to prove your innocence.