Over 7,000 Welsh Children on Government DNA Database - WILLOTT

November 5, 2007 12:00 AM

Today, Jenny Willott MP released figures showing that the 4 Welsh Police Forces have added over 260,000 DNA profiles to the Government's National DNA database since it was launched in 1995, including the profiles of 7,155 under 16 year olds.

The figures, which were obtained through a series of Parliamentary Questions asked by Miss Willott, also reveal the number of profiles added by each Welsh Police Force per year. The numbers have risen dramatically since 1995 from just over 4,000 DNA profiles a year to almost 30,000 in 2006 - a sevenfold increase.

Commenting, Jenny said:

"If the Government were just keeping the DNA records of convicted criminals from Wales, there would be no problem. But keeping DNA samples from innocent people, including thousands of Welsh children is unjustified.

"Expanding the National DNA database by stealth is plain wrong. It is already the largest in the world and yet the Government is growing the system at an ever faster rate. In Wales, the number of profiles logged onto the system each year has risen dramatically.

"There are no safeguards in place to prevent abuse of the database and the Home Office has already licensed numerous genetic studies using stored DNA samples without informing or asking for the consent of the individuals involved. What's more, the companies carrying out this research are often allowed to keep copies of the DNA samples that they use.

"Innocent people's DNA should be destroyed after investigation. We need vigorous safeguards in place to prevent abuse of the system and the Government should put an end to the database DNA research it has licensed until consent is given from all those involved."

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