ONE IN EVERY DOZEN ON DNA DATABASE - WILLOTT

2007 Hydref 15 12:00 AM

Today, Jenny Willott MP released figures showing that roughly one in every 12 people in the UK are on the Government's National DNA Database.

The figures were obtained in an answer to a Parliamentary Question from Jenny Willott which shows the number of profiles added on the database each month since it was established. In 1997/98, 129,781 new profiles were loaded on to the database but in 2006/2007, 722,464 new profiles were added - rise in the annual number of new DNA profiles of 545%.

A total of 4,850,510 DNA profiles are currently stored on the database.

Commenting, Jenny said:

"These figures show that this Labour Government is allowing the DNA database to run out of control.

"We already have the largest DNA database in the world, but it seems that the Government is determined to keep it growing at an ever faster rate.

"There is nothing wrong with keeping the DNA of convicted criminals. But keeping DNA records of innocent people is completely unjustified.

"A large proportion of the nearly 5 million samples now held on the database are from innocent people including tens of thousands of children. At the current rate, in 2010 half of all black males will have their DNA stored on the database.

"Storing both innocent and guilty DNA on the database is likely to damage community relations by further alienating people from ethnic minorities who often already feel targeted by the authorities.

"What's more, the Home Office is allowing Orwellian-style genetic studies using samples from the database to try to predict the suspect's demographic characteristics, like their ethnic origin.

"There is already growing concern about racial profiling and discrimination in criminal investigations. This is a deeply disturbing path to follow that could ultimately lead to searches for some sort of 'criminal gene'."

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