SPECIAL'DNA CLINIC' FOR CARDIFF'S DATABASE INNOCENTS - WILLOTT

November 13, 2009 11:33 AM

On Friday 20th November, Jenny Willott, Welsh Liberal Democrat MP for Cardiff Central, is hosting a 'DNA Clinic' with the human rights group Liberty, for any of her constituents who are among the 1 million innocent people on the DNA database, in order to help get their DNA and personal information removed.

The move comes as the Government has released new proposals to reform the database.

Welsh Liberal Democrat research shows that there are:

• Over 57,000 innocent people from Wales on the database, including around 25,000 innocent people from South Wales.

• Over 4,000 innocent people in Wales have been added to the database since it was ruled illegal by the European Court of Human Rights in December last year, including 1,800 from South Wales.

• There are nearly 5.5m profiles on the database in total, more than 1 in every 10 people in the UK.

Commenting, Jenny said:

"No one should be considered 'half guilty' if they are actually found to be innocent. But that is exactly what the Labour Government is doing.

"The government have had every opportunity to adopt the fair and effective DNA database rules that operate in Scotland. If they insist on abusing our criminal justice system, then people will have to take matters into their own hands.

"This is a fantastic opportunity for innocent people in my constituency to receive expert advice on how to get themselves off the database. I strongly urge any residents living in Cardiff Central in this position, to book an appointment at this DNA Clinic."

Anna Fairclough, Liberty legal officer and DNA database expert, said:

"This clinic comes at a time when the Government is bullishly refusing to budge on its authoritarian approach to DNA retention. Scooping the innocent up with the guilty is unacceptable - both to the European Court of Human Rights and to common notions of justice and personal privacy."

Notes:

• The 'DNA Clinic' will be taking place between 11am and 1pm on Friday 20th November at Jenny's Cardiff Central office - 99 Woodville Road, Cathays, Cardiff, CF24 4DY.

• Cardiff Central constituents who would like to receive advice from Liberty lawyers about how to get their DNA removed from the database, should book an appointment by phoning 02920 668558.

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