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So the government has admitted, but of course, in a police state there are no innocent people. Everyone is a potential threat to the tyrants in power.
Source: Daily Mail
Nearly 40,000 innocent children have been placed on the Government’s enormous DNA database for life, ministers admitted last night.
The number of ten to 17-year-olds who have done nothing wrong yet have had their genetic profiles seized by police has soared by 60 per cent in two years.
The news will fuel mounting fears that forces are arresting youngsters who have committed no crime simply to build up their DNA database by ‘stealth’.
The scale of the gathering operation was revealed by Home Office minister Meg Hillier. She confirmed the database held the records of 303,393 children whose genetic profiles can be checked against any crime scene.
Of these, 39,095 – or 12.8 per cent – had ‘not been convicted, cautioned, received a final warning or reprimand and had no charge pending against them’.
The controversial figures, slipped out in a written Parliamentary answer, provoked condemnation yesterday.
Shadow Home Secretary Dominic Grieve said: ‘This is yet more evidence that the DNA database is totally arbitrary, with tens of thousands of innocent kids on it but not every offender in our prisons.’
Liberal Democrat home affairs spokesman Chris Huhne said it was wrong to store the DNA of innocent people. He pointed out that the database does not contain data on many convicted criminals.
He said: ‘These figures show that the Government is building a national DNA database by stealth.
‘There can be no excuse for storing the DNA of innocent adults, let alone children, who are entirely blameless.
‘This is an intrusive policy that gives far too much sensitive information to the state, when we know that ministers cannot be trusted with its security. The DNA that should be on the database is that of past offends, yet when it comes to them, there are major gaps in the database.’
Since April 2004, anyone aged ten or above who is arrested in England and Wales can have their DNA and fingerprints taken without their consent, or that of their parents.
The DNA samples – plus the computerised profiles – are kept permanently, even if the person arrested is never charged or is acquitted. Only a tiny fraction of the files are destroyed.
Britain has the world’s largest DNA database, with 4.5 million genetic profiles on record. Up to 1.5million – or a third of these – are from innocent people.
Criminologists have warned that, in a bid to make policing simpler, officers are targeting for arrest those who they see as potential troublemakers. For example, by making arrests for a minor offence such as criminal damage, they can take the DNA of a group of youngsters at the time.
But those who have had samples taken include two schoolgirls charged with criminal damage after drawing on a pavement in chalk, and a child in Kent who removed a slice of cucumber from a sandwich and threw it at another youngster.
Last month a Government-appointed advisory body, the DNA Database Ethics Group, said samples obtained from innocent people should be destroyed.
Problems scanning the fingerprints of four million pensioners could compromise the controversial identity card scheme, Government advisers have warned.
The Home Office has been told it is ‘hard to obtain good quality fingerprints’ from people over the age of 75, and that the technology needed to overcome these difficulties would cost the taxpayer more money.
The ID card database, which will include the fingerprints and iris patterns of 50 million citizens, is already predicted to cost up to £20 billion.
Its success depends on all prints being clear enough to be scanned repeatedly as proof of identity.
But a report by the Biometrics Assurance Group, led by Professor John Beddington, said scanners would struggle to read elderly people’s prints because the ridges on the pads of their fingers are often less defined.
It also warned the card scheme had not been sufficiently tested on those with ‘challenging biometrics’ – including the elderly, mute, non-English speaking and blind.
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