WILLOTT WELCOMES BILL TO END STORAGE OF INNOCENT PEOPLE’S DNA

February 11, 2011 1:39 PM

Jenny Willott, the Liberal Democrat MP for Cardiff Central, has welcomed legislation published today to prevent the police from storing innocent people's DNA.

The legislation is within the Freedom Bill, which is set to repeal some of the most authoritarian policies put in place by the last Labour Government.

Currently, the police can keep DNA samples of people suspected of a crime, even if they are never charged or if they have been found not guilty.

The new law will mean that DNA samples will be destroyed if a person is found not guilty of an offence or if the police decide not to charge them. For people suspected of violent crimes the police will be able to keep their DNA samples for a maximum of five years.

The Freedom Bill is also set to repeal other authoritarian legislation surrounding stop and search powers, and will safeguard the right to trial by jury.

Commenting Jenny, who has campaigned against the retention of innocent people's DNA for many years, said:

"I am really pleased that we will finally be ending the storage of innocent people's DNA. It is simply not right that if you are found innocent of a crime you should still be viewed with suspicion.

"The Lib Dems promised the Freedom Bill during the General Election. Once more we are cleaning up the mistakes Labour left behind.

"The last Labour Government was happy to treat everyone like criminals and it is high time we put a stop to these unfair, authoritarian laws."

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