DNA DATABASE CONTENTS VERY CONCERNING

On the day that the Government announced that the national DNA database has over three million entries, new figures revealed by Liberal Democrat Home Affairs Spokesperson, Lynne Featherstone MP, shows that there are 139,463 people who have a DNA profile on the national DNA database (NDNAD) who have not been charged or cautioned with an offence.

Commenting Lynne Featherstone MP said:

“This is an intolerable infringement of liberty and personal privacy.

“There is no purpose or justification for keeping the DNA record of anyone who is not charged with an offence. We cannot be absolutely certain that there will be no misuse of the DNA Database. There are no real safeguards in place to control it.

“With the growing concern about racial profiling and disproportionality in criminal investigations, the need to keep innocent people on the DNA Database is questionable.”

Note – Hansard 20 Dec 2005 : Column 2890W

DNA Profiles

Lynne Featherstone: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many people who have not been charged or cautioned for an offence have DNA profiles stored in the police national database; and if he will make a statement. [34330]

Andy Burnham: There are 139,463 people who have a DNA profile on the national DNA database (NDNAD) who have not been charged or cautioned with an offence.

This figure comprises: 124,347 people who have a DNA profile on the NDNAD who have been arrested and subsequently not been charged or cautioned with an offence. This information was provided by the Police Information Technology Organisation (PITO) and obtained from the police national computer (PNC) which is linked to the NDNAD; and 15,116 volunteer sample profile records retained on the NDNAD.

A volunteer sample is a DNA sample taken from an individual in relation to the investigation of an offence for elimination purposes and not as a result of the individual having been arrested in connection with an offence. The volunteer must give written consent to provide the sample; and can also volunteer to have their DNA profile held on the database by providing separate written consent for this. Volunteer samples may be taken from, for example, the victim of a crime, a third party, a member of a population identified for an intelligence-led screen or from an individual at their request.