I’m disgusted by the Government’s new DNA database proposals being laid out as a “consultation” today. Jacqui Smith’s transparent attempts at spin are risible. So is any claim by this Government that it values freedom, civil liberties or the presumption of innocence.
SIX TO TWELVE YEARS. That’s the length of time Smith wants to keep the DNA of the innocent. The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) ruled that The UK’s National DNA database (NDNAD) is a violation of the rights to a private and family life after two innocent Sheffield people’s DNA was retained for seven years (including the time they spent fighting court actions to have their records expunged).
Shami Chakrabarti of Liberty said: “This isn’t necessarily a complete two fingers to the ECHR but it comes pretty close.”
In Scotland most DNA samples and resulting profiles must be destroyed if the individual is not convicted or is granted an absolute discharge. For certain sexual or violent offences DNA can be retained for up to five years however a Chief Constable must apply to the courts for any extension beyond three years. Why are the Scots’ human rights being respected while those of 850,000 other UK subjects are being violated?
The Conservative and Liberal Democrat parties have both called on the Government to adopt the Scottish system nationwide but Labour seem determined to comply with the letter of the ECHR ruling while keeping the number of NDNAD records as high as possible. Such data kleptomania is a grave threat to our human rights. We must force the Government to acknowledge this fact and take action to reverse these illiberal proposals.
Write to your MP now and express your outrage!