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Doesn't it make you wonder what on earth the government is doing? They want to give criminals the right to vote, but they want to store the DNA of innocent people on a giant database? It seems as though we're giving more freedom to those who have committed crimes, and taking freedom from those who haven't. Honestly, if aliens landed in London and learnt of this, they'd be utterly boggled at the backwards justice system we're operating.

The fact that the DNA of innocent people such as Damian Green is kept in this way is a disgrace and completely unacceptable. Either the DNA of only convicted criminals should be kept or the DNA of the entire population should be stored. The current arrangement is ridiculous.

They can't give it back as it would set a precedent and make a political row of unholy proportion.
Tories should commit to rolling it back on being elected along with many of the other restrictions Labour has applied to civil liberties.

"They can't give it back as it would set a precedent"

It SHOULD set a precedent. The DNA of all innocent people should be removed.

But the Tories have argued that they intend to retain the DNA of innnocent people for certain serious offences.

Why should Green's DNA be removed but not other innocent people accused of different crimes?

The crime Green was accused of was certainly serious.

I thought the ECHR had ruled that keeping the DNA of innocent people was a breach of their human rights and that the retention was illegal.

Or did I dream it?.

The removal of innocent people's DNA should be one of the top pledges for the Conservatives.Everyone who truly believes in freedom under the Law would support this.

I want to see the Conservatives to not only remove innocent people's DNA from the database, but also put a time limit on formal cautions so that someone cautioned for a minor offence is not held back later in life. A caution for a trival offence should not be a life sentence, it should be kept for say 4 years and then wiped clean. That and keeping innocent people's DNA is total over kill and an assault on civil liberties. I would like the Tories to be the civil liberties party, without getting bogged down in human rights nonsense from Europe.

Good to see tories following Davis's line and standing up for civil liberties! My complete support to Green and any others that wish for it to be removed.

What crime was Damian Green alleged to have committed that could have been proven by DNA evidence?

As I recall this started back in the early- or mid-90's when the police were investigating a rape, and they asked all the men in the town to volunteer to provide DNA samples so they could be eliminated from the inquiry, with the promise that once any man had been eliminated his DNA record would be destroyed.

They then broke their word to the public by deciding that since they had all this DNA information, they might as well keep it.

Unfortunately when this or another instance was challenged in the High Court, the judges agreed that the police could keep any DNA information they acquired.

This is one reason why there are now so many unnecessary arrests - because the police see it as a way to accumulate DNA information.

Eventually, they will have arrested the whole population, on one pretext or another, and they'll have a built up a complete database without the government having to pass a law to compel everyone to provide a sample.

It was not necessary to arrest Damian Green. They could have rung him up and asked him to come for an interview. If it was essential to do so, they could have got search warrants and searched for evidence, without arresting him.

Remove the right of the police to retain the DNA of anybody who they arrest, and that will remove one of the main reasons for them to make unnecessary arrests.

There are some circumstances under which it would reasonable for the police to retain the DNA information of a suspect even though he was never charged, or he was charged and tried but acquitted.

But they should need specific authorisation from a court in order to do that in each case, and their application should be open to challenge in the court so that they would have to show that it was a reasonable and proportionate precautionary measure for them to retain DNA information on that particular individual.

Go to it Damian! This is *just* the sort of issue we can use to highlight the iniquitous intrusion-into-personal-life-and-freedom which the DNA database represents.

I go along with Denis Cooper @ 17.46 and incidentally Tanuki @ 18.19.

I find ToryBlog.com.....'s comments @ 16.33 rather strange. He/she gives the impression that 'Green' - MR.Green, was lucky NOT to be charged on a 'serious' 'crime'! HOWEVER! the CPS has decided that there is NOT a case to be made, and their explanation went much further than just that!

Because of that, and because this appears to be a piece of political 'organisation', I think that his DNA should not be kept!

Apparently ToryBlog.com..... does not seem to think so. Odd that from that blog address.

Curbishly @ 16:53.

You didn't dream it. The case is S & Marper v United Kingdom [2008] ECHR 1581 which can be found here.

A rare occasion on which the ECHR got it right.

I hope Damian Green agrees that the thirteen BNP activists arrested in Liverpool a few months ago and susequently that all charges were dropped within five days should also have their DNA destroyed off the data base.

I agree with Damian though that his DNA samples should be destroyed or given back to him.

Its not just his DNA that needs to be destroyed but his DNA profile and his fingerprints as well.
Question is, even if they say they will destroy them, can we believe that they actually will?

If they refuse, he should appeal to the European court of human rights.

"What crime was Damian Green alleged to have committed that could have been proven by DNA evidence?"


Even if his DNA is given back it would be symbolic, its pattern is on record. The hard part is making the 'gesture' powerful enough for eventual policy reality.

Patsy @ 19:05

D'oh! Talk about missing the point completely!

I believe like many here that innocent people should have their DNA removed from the db, as Mr Green is demanding.

However, it would seem that many here have forgotten what the actual Tory position is, and that is, that they have proposed they would indeed remove the dna of *some* innocent people, but would retain it for those accused of certain 'serious' crimes.

Of course Damian was innocent, but what he was accused of was indeed 'serious'. I was therefore comparing his demand to be removed from the db with the Tory position to keep other innocents in the DB.

Yes, the Tories plan to retain the DNA of certain innocent, wrongly accused people. Clearly such a policy is open to creeping redefinition of 'serious' and will cause more confusion than now.

In short, *every* innocent person should be removed, but the Tories do *not* support that making Green's demand very selfish when the Tories won't extend that demand to other people wrongly accused of serious crimes.

Damian Green is not the only Opposition MP to have his DNA unjustly held. Anyone remember this?


Has Greg Hands been given back his DNA yet?

Quite so Mr Green is absolutely right and his DNA must be returned. This is another big issue that requires the pressure to be kept up.

"Tories won't extend that demand to other people wrongly accused of serious crimes"

Yet more duplicity is it any wonder that the Torys National support is weak, it seems to me that far to often Labour is loosing the battle despite the lack of fight in our boys.
Of course they will not commit to such an expensive operation, but leaving it up to the individual to challenge the state in every case is consistent with a party with an eye to the bottom line of costing.

*EVERY* single person who is arrested but not successfully prosecuted for their alleged crime should have their DNA removed from the database.

No if's, no buts.. *ALL* of them.


have a read of what this guy has to say about the new stazi state we live in

Anyone who has been convicted and who has served their time (all of it not just the time till early release or parole) should have their DNA records scrapped.

Otherwise there can never be any rehabilitation and society is saying of those convicted that you are forever guilty of something. That is wrong.

It goes without saying that under no circumstances should DNA be retained for anyone arrested and not convicted of a crime.

"It goes without saying that under no circumstances should DNA be retained for anyone arrested and not convicted of a crime."

I agree, but unfortunately, you do need to say it as the Tories have proposed keeping the DNA of completely some innocent people for 5 years, leaving them under a cloud of suspicion for all that time.

"The Conservative Party is announcing proposals to build on the existing system in place in Scotland, which would only allow Ministers to order DNA from innocent people to be retained in cases involving some sexual and violent offences – and only then for up to five years (rather than indefinitely)."
Source: ConHome April 6th 2009

Innocent is innocent surely, irrespective of what you were wrongly accused of?

Of course such an approach leave the policy open to redefination it terms of both what is 'serious' and how long it is kept.

I'll ask again, exactly what change are the Roon leadership (not the grassroots) actually seeking to deliver?

A friend of mine living in south London had his home broken into. When he came down to investigate he was attacked.

The individual was caught because he left DNA at the scene. Obviously, DNA is very faulty, but it helped the police identify the individual and it turned out he had been living with apparently no income or benefits, had no alibi that night, was picked out of a line up by my friend.

Without the DNA sweep none of that would have happened.

What would Damian Green say to my friend?

All very well being in favour of abstract liberties but what about practicalities. We can't all live in well-heeled areas of town and those of us who have to put up with crime might accept that poor Mr Green and others inconvenience is not so bad it is a reason to give away a useful weapon in the fight against crime.

"Anyone who has been convicted and who has served their time (all of it not just the time till early release or parole) should have their DNA records scrapped."

I would agree for those who crimes are "spent"and not before that time.
Once they are again of good character, then yes I think you are right. Again with an eye to cost I believe this is an issue that the
plaintive could pursue in relation to the great writ.

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