With over 700 people having been injured inlst week's bomb attacks on the London Tube trains and Bus, and the politicians and the policemen promising that they are "not ruling anything out" in this top priority investigation.
Therefore, we have some privacy and civil rights concerns regarding the retention of DNA evidence
There is no reason not to assume that the investigators will have to consider the possability that one or more of the people who planted the bombs, may not have been killed in the explosions, and may not have got away scot free, may have been caught up in the blasts and injured.
There already has been plenty of speculation in the media about whether or not one of the people caught in the explosion on the Bus might have been a "suicide bomber" or like the IRA bomber in Aldwych bus explosion in 1996, the victim of his own bomb in transit due to a faulty detonator.
If the investigators are being methodical, they should also be examining the possability that there was more than one bomber or accomplice at each scene of crime, especially on the Bus if it was an "in transit" accidental detonation. These people, if they exist, may only have been slightly injured and may or may not have checked into hospital via ambulance or as "walking wounded".
Therefore, the unlimited funds and manpower top priority forensic investigation should be collecting DNA samples from all the blood spatters at the crime scenes, and from the hospitals where the victims were treated.
The investigators will then, presumably, be trying to match any and all of the DNA and blood type evidence from the innocent victims, to see if there are any unaccounted for DNA samples, which may be those of the bombers or their accomplices.
The Human Tissue Act 2004 allows for the collection and retention of DNA tissue samples and the processing of DNA "fingerprints" without your consent, as a "use for an excepted purpose", for the usual infinite "prevention and detection of crime" loopholes which pervade the Human Rights Act and the Data Protection Act.
All well and good, but how long will the DNA data of the vctims of the London bombs be retained for ?
The Metroplitan Police Service's DNA Policy (.pdf), such as it is, gives no clues.
The current policy of the Forensic Science Service's National DNA Database effectively means that such tissue samples and DNA "fingerprints" are retained forever, no matter that the 700 people involved are the actual victims of crime.
Those of us who have experience of the stupidity of data transfers between different Government database will fear that instead of the full context of this DNA data being recorded fully and being obvious to any future database queries, what will happen is that some time in the future one of the 700 victim's DNA will be mateched against the central DNA database for some reason or other, and the system will flag up "possible terrorist bomb suspect", with devastating consequences for the individual involved.
The NuLabour Home Secretary Charles Clarke and the Metropolitan Police Commissiner Sir Ian Blair should put on the reord, an unequivocal promise not to add insult to injury, and to destroy the DNA tissue samples and DNA "fingerprint" database records of all those 700 innocent victims, once the bombers have been caught and convicted, or after , say a year, if the criminals have not been caught.
Obviously any suspicious or unidentified DNA samples should be retained for longer.
Why don't the professional journalists ask such questions at the daily press conferences ?