What does 300 mean to you?

Is it the epic historical film from last year?

Do you see a triangular number and a pair of twin primes (149 and 151)?

Or do you recall how Jo Shaw, the Lib Dem PPC for Holburn and St Pancras revealed in the Telegraph last week that that’s how many children are added to the UK’s DNA database each and every day.

Almost 1.1 million youngsters aged between ten and 17 have had their profiles recorded by the police since 2000, with a large proportion aged under 15, the Daily Telegraph can disclose.
And around one in six are likely to have never been convicted of any crime.

Ministers are currently reviewing the database but proposals would still see the profiles of innocent people kept for up to 12 years.

Youngsters who commit one minor crime will be kept on until they reach 18 while those guilty of sex or violent crimes will be kept indefinitely.

Jo Shaw, the Liberal Democrat parliamentary campaigner for Holborn & St Pancras who obtained the figures, said: “Labour’s approach to tackling crime is unfair, heavy-handed and ineffective.

“Storing the DNA of thousands of innocent young people as young as ten is unlikely to solve our crime problems, but is a costly way of stigmatising young people. If you’re innocent, you shouldn’t have your data on who you are kept for years.”

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

  • “If you’re innocent, you shouldn’t have your data on who you are kept for years.”

    Why not? We keep your data for tax and social security and health purposes. Why not to prevents serious crime?

    “Storing the DNA of thousands of innocent young people as young as ten is unlikely to solve our crime problems,”

    Who suggested it would solve them – but it may help in some very very serious cases and save lives. Why are you against this? Are the Lb Dems in favour of not detecting murderers, muggers and rapists?

  • Herbert Brown 16th Aug '09 - 5:37pm

    After all – if you haven’t done anything wrong, you don’t have anything to fear!

  • Malcolm Todd 17th Aug '09 - 10:58am

    @Cynic: it’s largely a question of trust. Do you trust the police/government so completely, not only now but for the rest of your lifetime, that they will never misuse the information they hold about you? Would you feel happy for everyone to have their DNA recorded at birth or on entry to the country? If not, why should being arrested for a crime you haven’t committed make any difference?

    “We keep your data for tax and social security and health purposes. Why not to prevents serious crime?”
    I believe that tax data are only kept for up to six years in the ordinary course of things. The only social security records that are maintained over the long term are pension records, for obvious reasons and entirely to the benefit of the individual rather than the state; and (until the advent of the new rather scary NHS ‘spine’) access to information on your health is very restricted and again kept for your benefit not anyone else’s.

  • Malcolm Todd 17th Aug '09 - 11:01am

    @Cllr Patrick Smith: I think I often agree with you, but please stop abusing the English language! Almost every time you write “whom” you should have written “who”. It’s no crime to be uncertain of when to use which, but please just stick to “who”, which is always correct in vernacular English. (Sorry, this isn’t meant as a personal attack, I just couldn’t take it any more…)

  • “If you’re innocent, you shouldn’t have your data on who you are kept for years.”

    I agree with Jo. Unfortunately that isn’t what party policy is.

  • Excellent article by Jo. This is a really troubling development and DNA evidence is not as infallible as people think. This widespread harvesting of DNA is an abuse of power and is one of the civil liberties that has gradually been eroded by this govt.

  • @Cllr Patrick Smith.

    I think you are wrong about sleepwalking – They are going like Usain Bolt !

  • Malcolm Todd 17th Aug '09 - 4:28pm

    I bet Usain Bolt sleepwalks faster than I run.

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