Guilty or innocent - police DNA database doesn't care

INNOCENT people arrested and taken to Weston police station will have their details kept on the national police DNA database

INNOCENT people arrested and taken to Weston police station will have their details kept on the national police DNA database for the rest of their lives. An investigation by the Weston & Somerset Mercury has revealed that the number of DNA samples taken by police in Weston has increased by more than one third in the last year.Any fingerprints, photos or DNA samples taken are now kept on file regardless of whether or not a person has committed a crime. The DNA database was set up by the Home Office to help police catch criminals. Weston police sector inspector, Yan Georgiou, said: "Any rise in the number of samples taken is related to an increase in the number of arrests made. "We keep everything nowadays, no information is destroyed."Avon & Somerset Constabulary refused a request by the Mercury to reveal how many people on the database been released without charge between 2004 and 2007 because of the amount of paperwork involved.Figures released under the Freedom of Information Act show the number of DNA profiles taken by police officers at Weston police station increased by 352 in 2006 from 1010 to 1362.The number of DNA profiles of people submitted by Avon & Somerset Constabulary to the national database grew by more than 25 per cent last year.Weston residents who have had their DNA taken, but have not been convicted of any crime, can write to chief constable Colin Port of Avon & Somerset Constabulary to ask for their file to be removed.More than 60,000 people dealt with by Avon and Somerset Constabulary are now on the UK's database, which is the largest in the world, holding DNA samples of more than five per cent of the population. A spokesman from Liberty, an organisation which protects civil liberties, said: "This is the creation of a national DNA database by stealth and without public debate."Do you think the Government should hold records of innocent people?


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