Thursday 2 August 2007

Police may be given power to take DNA samples in the street

The signs of a police state become ever more apparent. It will get to a point where they can't hide their totalitarian intentions but for the moment they are keeping the real goal nice and secret. All the easier to lure the sheeple into a corporate dictatorship where we are all numbered and chipped and monitored 24x7x365. But of course, that's not what this is about. No, it's all about keeping people safe and preventing crime!!

The Home Office is considering giving the police the power to take a DNA sample on the street, without taking the suspect to a police station, as well as taking samples from suspects in relatively minor offences such as littering, speeding or not wearing a seat belt.

The move comes as an official genetics watchdog prepares a public inquiry into the police national DNA database, following concern over the retention of samples from people acquitted of any offence, and disclosure that the database holds DNA records for one in three of British black males.The database is the largest in the world, with 3.4m profiles, more than 5% of the UK population. If the powers are granted, it would expand massively.

Baroness Kennedy, chair of the Human Genetics Commission, said the power of the police in England and Wales to take DNA samples from any arrested individual without requiring their assent was unrivalled in the world. "We want to ensure the public voice is heard on issues people think are relevant. The Citizen's Inquiry is likely to grapple with issues such as whether storing the DNA profiles of victims and suspects who are not charged, or who are subsequently acquitted of any wrongdoing, is justified by the need to fight crime."

She added that under law it was very difficult, and sometimes impossible, to have your sample removed. "On the other hand a steadily increasing number of serious crimes, including murder and rapes, are being solved and criminals brought to justice with its help. It is likely that the use of DNA information by police authorities for criminal intelligence purposes will grow. It is therefore vital that the public are able to voice their views."

The inquiry will recruit representative panels of the public to consider social and ethical issues in police use of DNA.

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