Police told to ignore European Court of Human Rights over DNA database

Despite a ruling by the European Court of Human Rights last December, the Association of Chief Police Officers has written to chief constables in England and Wales advising them to continue adding the DNA profiles of innocent people to the national DNA database. They have been told that new Home Office guidelines will not take effect until 2010.

From the Guardian:

Senior police officers have also been “strongly advised” that it is “vitally important” that they resist individual requests based on the Strasbourg ruling to remove DNA profiles from the national database in cases such as wrongful arrest, mistaken identity, or where no crime has been committed.

European human rights judges ruled last December in the S and Marper case that the blanket and indiscriminate retention of the DNA profiles and fingerprints of 850,000 people arrested but never convicted of any offence amounts to an unlawful breach of their rights.

Britain already has the largest police national DNA database in the world, with 5.8m profiles, including one in three of all young black males. Thousands more are being added each week.

So far the Home Office has responded to the judgment by proposing a controversial package to keep DNA profiles of the innocent for six to 12 years, depending on the seriousness of the offence. The official consultation period ended today.

Liberal Democrat Shadow Home Secretary Chris Huhne said,

“It is unacceptable that new guidance won’t be provided to police until 2010. In that time thousands more innocent people will have been added to the database, where they will remain for years.

“It is not up to police forces to ignore court judgments because they or their masters do not like them.”

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This entry was posted in Big mad database and News.
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5 Comments

  • Andrew Suffield 8th Aug '09 - 1:02am

    So… their proposal is to retain DNA and fingerprint data based on the severity of the offence that the person did not commit.

    Because that makes sense, right?

  • It may or may not make sense – but that’s pretty much what our policy is.

  • Christopher Bingham 16th Aug '09 - 11:23am

    If you have nothing to hide then what is the problem? The only people who don’t like DNA analysis are criminals!

  • Christopher Bingham 16th Aug '09 - 11:24am

    If everyone had their DNA on the database then there would be no rapes as they would be very afraid!

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