The National DNA Database Expansion Programme figures have been published by the Home Office. The report is available online: DNA Expansion Programme 2000-2005: Reporting Achievement (.pdf)
It has been analysed somewhat by the BBC
Last Updated: Wednesday, 4 January 2006, 11:21 GMT
DNA database continues to swell
More than 3 million samples are in the DNA database
The number of samples held on the DNA database will rise to 4.25 million within two years, the Home Office says.
There are three million samples held at the moment, with some of the expansion due to law changes in 2001 and 2004.
Police can now track down offenders by matching samples with other family members who may be on the database.
The report does not provide any analysis of how many children's DNA samples are held on the NDNAD,
There are a couple of recent Parliamentary Answers on the subject, which reveal that 685,748 of the DNA records on the National DNA Database have been collected from children between the ages of 10 and 17 i.e. about 23 percent of the total, and are set to be retained for the rest of their lives (assuming that the table of figures given is not cumulative)
However, the controversial changes in the law which allow for the retention of DNA tissue samples, anaysed DNA "fingerprints" profiles and conventional fingerprints, even from the
139,463 people who have a DNA profile on the national DNA database (NDNAD) who have not been charged or cautioned with an offence.
do not seem to have yielded very impressive results so far according to the report:
15. Since the legal change that took place in 2001, it is estimated that approximately 198,000 profiles that would previously have been removed have been retained on the Database. Of these, at 31 March 2005, 7,591 profiles have been matched with crime scene samples involving 10,754 offences. These offences include 88 murders, 45 attempted murders, 116 rapes, 62 sexual offences, 91 aggravated burglaries and 94 of the supply of controlled drugs.
Remember that for a person to be "linked with a crime scene" does not mean that all or in fact most of these crimes have in any sense been "solved".
18. Some monitoring work has been undertaken by the DNA & Fingerprint Retention Project Team on the impact of arrestee sampling; this was based on data from 12 forces that are fully utilising the new powers. It has been identified that 43% of arrested persons are not proceeded against and ‘no further action’ is taken. Sampling arrestees who are not proceeded against has yielded over 250 profiles of individuals that have been linked with crime scene samples. These links to earlier offences may never have been made if the power under the 2003 Act to take a DNA sample on arrest had not been implemented. The earlier offences linked to these 250 criminal justice (CJ) arrestee profiles include: four murder/manslaughters, three rapes, six robberies, four sexual offences, five of the supply of controlled drugs and 98 burglary offences.
This does not appear to be overwhelming evidence that justifies the retention of thousands of innocent people's DNA samples.
A new figure about the current number of Children on the DNA database who had not been charged or cautioned for any offence was given by Home Office Minister Andy Burns in a Parliamentary Answer on 16th January 2006
On 1 December the original question asked:"How many people under 18 years have DNA profiles stored in the police national database without having been charged or cautioned for any offence?"
It was not then possible to provide the answer. A transitional solution provided by the police now enables this information to be compiled, though not as easily as the proposed PNC-national DNA database linkage would permit. On 1 December 2005 there were around 24,000 DNA person profiles on the DNA database which related to persons under 18 who had not been charged or cautioned for any offence.