Nearly 1 million innocents on DNA database and fewer crimes solved - Willott

December 3, 2008 12:00 AM

Ahead of tomorrow's European Court of Human Rights ruling on whether two innocent men should be removed from the DNA database, the Welsh Liberal Democrats have revealed that since 2001, 850,000 innocent people have been added to the DNA database and yet the number of crimes solved using the database has fallen by 3,500 (16.5%).

Research by the party revealed that:

• 850,000 people have been added to the DNA database who have no criminal record since 2001.

• The number of crimes solved using DNA evidence fell by nearly 12% last year and by 16.5% since 2002-03.

• Since the database was created, more than a million children have been added to it, including over 340,000 who remain under 18

Commenting, Jenny Willott, Welsh Liberal Democrat MP for Cardiff Central, said:

"The Government's policy is both woefully chaotic and deeply unfair.

"Despite the Government's clear attempts to significantly increase the number of DNA samples held, the number of convictions using the database is falling

"No one denies that DNA can be extremely useful tool in fighting crime. But keeping the DNA of nearly 1 million innocent people, including 350,000 children, is a gross intrusion of privacy with no clear benefit in terms of public security.

"The Government should be using resources much better - it is a huge waste of money holding so many samples of innocent people, particularly when the conviction rate using DNA is falling. They should prioritise crime detection rather than eroding our remaining civil liberties."

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