Do you really believe that we the police arrest people just to get their DNA? Why is it that The Daily Mail once again targets us when criticising the formation of the DNA database? What a load of shite they write. I'm sure they would be on full attack mode if we didn't arrest somebody who was later found through DNA to have been committing offences and we could have prevented them. Let's make it very clear there has to be at least suspicion of an offence before an Individual is arrested and this triggers the DNA sample being taken if it is a recordable offence.
If a person is innocent or NFA'd that DNA profile is currently retained. That is a government decision so direct your articles that way please Mr Editor of The Mail . I've always questioned if the taking prints and DNA from people arrested for minor offences is proportionate but there can be no doubt it helps in the fight against crime. There have been numerous examples where a DNA sample taken on arrest, has after a speculative search implicated that individual in a cold case. I am therefore in favour of the database.
The Human Genetic Commission report includes a quote from a retired senior police officer, a superintendent, who told the commission: "It is now the norm to arrest offenders for everything if there is a power to do so". His assumption links to the need to take DNA but in reality it comes back to officers covering their backs. Presently there is a big purge on to arrest all named suspects on outstanding crime reports. The reason, because of press outrage when we didn't arrest suspects who went on to commit offences. So what do the press want - you can't have it both ways. Alot of those suspects will be found innocent or shouldn't have been named suspects in the first place.
I must admit that DNA samples were in the back of my mind when arresting a local lad for a smidgen of cannabis once. He was however a Jamaican drug dealer not long in the country who I'd been after for ages. We didn't have his prints photograph or DNA on PNC. My reasoning was that by having his DNA on record there was always a chance that he would implicate himself in later operations when he sold crack from his mouth. All perfectly legal and above board and one reason why I'm not into cannabis warnings per se. He will be one of the 3/4 of black males within a certain age group on the database. The report wants an equality strand inserted to counter this percentage.
I haven't read the report in great detail but apart from the sensational headlines in the press some makes a bit of sense. DNA retention does need looking at and I would suggest a criminal database for the guilty on PNC and a separate database for innocent and juvenile profiles to be looked after by an independent body, but still searchable.
Oh and by the way my fingerprints are on file and so is my DNA somewhere. It doesn't bother me as I don't commit crime. I'm more worried about being on databases elsewhere which leads to my phone ringing all the time to sell me crap*.
* This has eased since I registered here http://www.callpreventionregistry.co.uk/