Police chiefs against universal DNA database

The majority of police chiefs are against a universal DNA database for the people of Britain.

At a meeting during the Association of Chief Police Officers (Acpo) annual conference, 61 per cent of police chiefs voted against the idea of putting all UK residents on the national database.

Only 38 per cent of those present at the vote supported a universal database with one per cent unsure.

The national DNA database is a hugely controversial topic. Critics point to the fact people can be placed on the database without ever being formally charged or arrested.

Reports suggest that there are one million people placed on the database who have never been charged.

Jago Russell from campaign group Liberty claims: “There is no rational justification for who is on and off the database”.

Supporters claim that DNA is a vital tool in solving a large number of crimes and a national database would greatly improve the speed in which crimes are solved.

Chris Simms, the Acpo lead on forensics, suggested at the annual conference that 6,000 cases had been solved due to people being on the DNA database even though they had never been charged.

It is thought there over four million DNA sample currently on the database.

During a debate at the annual conference this week, 77 per cent of police chiefs said the media and politicians comments on the database had affected public opinion.

And asked if they thought people who had been never been charged or found guilty should have their DNA removed from the database, 62 per cent said no with 35 per cent saying yes.

Mr Russell criticised the current system whereby those who volunteer their DNA can not have it removed from the database. He also raised concern at the fact that children’s DNA is held.

He added that simply being placed on the database implied guilt.

“DNA retention carries with it the stain of criminality”, he declared.

© Adfero Ltd