The Sunday Times has a disheartening report, also by David Leppard :
The Sunday Times
December 17, 2006
POLICE are holding the DNA records of more than 1m innocent people — eight times more than ministers have previously admitted.
Official figures slipped out by the Home Office last week show that almost one in three of the 3.4m individuals whose details are kept on the database do not have a criminal record or a police caution. The government has now been accused of trying to bury “the bad news” among last week’s police announcements over the murders of five prostitutes in Ipswich.
Earlier this year, the Home Office reported that the figure was just 139,463. But in a parliamentary answer last week, ministers said that of the 3,457,000 individuals on the database, just 2,317,555 had a criminal conviction or caution recorded on the Police National Computer. That means that 1,139,445 people have their personal details stored without having been found guilty of any crime.
We must admit that we missed the significance of this Parliamentary Written Answer, to the Bob Spink MP (Conservative), which was cunningly grouped with several others about the DNA database, on Monday 11th December 2006.
The new figures were slipped out by John Reid, the home secretary and Joan Ryan, a junior Home Office minister, on Monday as the news agenda was dominated by the hunt for the Ipswich killer.
This weekend opposition MPs and civil liberties groups accused Reid of trying to hide the admission that innocent people are being secretly criminalised by “Big Brother” government.
The Tories have called for a parliamentary vote on whether details of people who were innocent or not charged should be included against their wishes.
David Davis, the shadow home secretary, said the timing of the Home Office release was unacceptable. “This is a cynical piece of news management, one of the pieces of bad news rushed out last week.”
He said the eightfold increase suggested that the much smaller figures released by ministers in March must have been inaccurate. “This is a matter which ought to be debated in parliament.”
Additional reporting: Anna Mikhailova
More DNA database figures broken down by age and by "ethnic appearance" were also revealed to Bob Spink in this Written Answer on 13th December 2006.
Is it Conservative Party policy, should they come into power, to remove all the DNA records and fingerprints etc. of innocent people from the Police National Computer and the National DNA Database ?