DNA database

"It is poor civic hygiene to install technologies that could someday facilitate a police state" -- Bruce Schneier

Executive Summary

The UK has the world's largest law enforcement DNA database with profiles of around 3.5m people, including more than half a million children under 16. In England and Wales, anyone arrested for any recordable offence - all but the most minor offences - now has their DNA sampled and kept permanently. In Scotland, under a different law, most people's DNA is removed from the database if they are acquitted. Police files hold the DNA of more than 50,000 children who have committed no offence. About 1 million of the individuals whose details are recorded on the police national computer do not have a conviction or caution.

There are privacy fears over the way the genetic profiles of suspects in England and Wales who have been cleared of any crime are still stored by the authorities; its retention was recently challenged by a teacher who was arrested but not prosecuted, resulting in new retention policies. Unlike England and Wales, DNA is automatically destroyed if someone was not convicted of a recordable offence in Scotland, Germany, Austria and Finland.

The attitude of the UK Goverment to the DNA database gives cause for concern. When asked whether the former Prime Minister (Tony Blair) melimit when he said he wanted to see the maximum number of people on the DNA Database, the Prime Minister's Official Spokesperson said yes, people who had done nothing had no reason to be afraid to be on it.

There are major concerns regarding access to DNA details on the database and the Government's continuing commitment to maintain restricted access to certain Government agencies only. The Home Office has already been criticised for allowing foreign agencies access to the National DNA Database and there have been calls for an independent watchdog to monitor foreign access. Within the UK, there is the risk that database information will be released to private companies. The Government stated that it would not release car registration details, only to later reverse that commitment and sell the details to private clamping companies. Risks invoked include releasing DNA data include their use by life insurance companies to increase premiums or refuse coverage.

Problems and Concerns

Similar to Biometrics a company, government, or organization can use your DNA identity to pre-judge motives of an individual and limit their freedom without a warrant and without ever breaking that particular law.

The DNA profiles of nearly four in 10 black men in the UK are on the police's national database - compared with fewer than one in 10 white men, according to figures compiled by the Guardian.

More than 3 million samples are in the DNA database, 85,748 of the DNA records on the National DNA Database have been collected from children between the ages of 10 and 17 i.e. about 2.8 percent of the total, and are set to be retained for the rest of their lives. Parliamentary Answers

How many people under 18 years have DNA profiles stored in the police national database without having been charged or cautioned for any offence? On 1 December 2005 there were around 24,000 DNA person profiles on the DNA database which related to persons under 18 who had not been charged or cautioned for any offence.

There is hope for the future as a teacher who was arrested but not prosecuted after being accused of hitting a child twice with a ruler won a legal battle against police to have her fingerprints, DNA sample and photograph destroyed. Since this ruling the Association of Chief Police Officers has published "Retention Guidelines for Nominal Records on the Police National Computer, incorporating the Step Down Model" Spy Blog says the following

This "step down procedure" really means that once your data has been sucked into the Police National Computer, it will never actually be deleted, except under the most exceptional circumstances. ... Why are the records of people who have been Acquitted of an alleged offence to be retained until such innocent people become 100 years old ?

Lynne Featherstone MP for Hornsey and Wood Green, May 7 2006 ... the answer I got to a Parliamentary Question on what percentage of innocent DNA comes from black and ethnic minorities. It's about 24% nationwide - but the figure that no one is picking up on yet - is that in London this kicks up to 57% of innocent DNA is coming from non-whites. It's huge – way, way above their actual representation in the population as a whole.

Identity Theft

John Penrose MP asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department:

what assessment he has made of the effectiveness of safeguards designed to prevent (a) hacking and (b) identity theft from the National DNA Database

and on 11 December 2006 received the following written response from Joan Ryan MP, Parliamentary-under-secretary, Home Office:

The security policy developed by the Custodian of the National DNA Database (NDNAD) is to keep the threat of both hacking into and identity theft from the NDNAD under constant review. This includes independent security penetration testing carried out by specialists approved by the National Information Assurance Authority. Such tests are carried out on a regular basis and have shown that the NDNAD systems provide a high level of protection against the threat of external attacks.


Three in four young black men are on the DNA database. Home Office projections released to Bob Spink, a Conservative MP, show that by April 2007 the DNA database will hold 3.7 million profiles, including three million "white-skinned Europeans" and 257,099 "Afro-Caribbeans". This means that, assuming a similar sex and age balance for all ethnic groups, there will be 135,000 young black men on the database next April. Figures for the last census in 2001 showed there were 175,000 black men, aged between 15 and 34, in England and Wales. The calculation method has been endorsed by experts, including Dr David Owen, of Warwick University's Centre for Research in Ethnic Relations, who described the figures as "disturbingly high".

The genetic fingerprints of nearly four-in-10 black men aged under 35 are held on the DNA database in England. The Commission for Racial Equality said

"It would be fairer to have a database that restricts itself to storing the DNA profiles of those who are convicted, rather than this fast and loose approach, which opens up the potential for discrimination."
"As enforcers of the Race Relations Act, the CRE will be investigating if this complies with the race equality duty to promote positive race relations. If we discover that the database fails to comply with the law, than we have to consider what legal steps we can take"


Retention of non-intimate samples


Children OFF the National DNA Database [1]

GeneWatch UK have launched a campaign calling on people to reclaim their DNA from the police if they are on the DNA database but have not been charged or convicted of a serious offence.

Protect Innocent people's DNA Liberal Democrats campaign


Nuffield Council on Bioethics report, The forensic use of bioinformation: ethical issues, September 2007

Human Genetics Commission Report, A Citizens’ Inquiry into the Forensic Use of DNA and the National DNA Database, July 2008

Human Genetics Commission News Release on A Citizens’ Inquiry into the Forensic Use of DNA and the National DNA Database report

Genewatch UK Briefing Would 114 murderers have walked away if innocent people’s records were removed from the National DNA Database?, June 2006


2006-11-30 - Warwick University Media Log - DNA, crime and civil liberties – Warwick Podcast
Summary: Dr Andrew Roberts asks whether the National DNA Database infringes on our civil liberties and the dangers of a compulsory system. Current state of the national DNA database, How is the database used, Why is having a DNA database a problem, Does the database make the job of the police easier, Ethnic populations and the DNA database, If I have done nothing wrong why should I be worried, Is it an invasion of privacy, Is DNA foolproof for crime detection, Do we need a public debate on the issue. 16 minutes MP3 format 15.9MB



2013-01-16 - New Statesman - Police demand DNA samples gay men
Author Peter Tatchell
Summary: Men convicted of (consenting) homosexual acts three decades ago under the Gross Indecency Act are being chased down by police who are demanding DNA samples. The men were warned that failure to cooperate could result in arrest. 'Operation Nutmeg' is designed to collect DNA samples and store them on a central database.


2012-12-10 - The Register - 'UK DNA database by stealth' proposed in £100m NHS project
Author Kelly Fiveash


2009-08-20 - BBC - Tory MP claims DNA record victory
Summary: A Tory MP has claimed a "small but significant victory for freedom" after police agreed to delete his DNA record. But Damian Green says he wants the same right extended to all innocent people on the police database - rather than "special treatment" for public figures.
2009-04-07 - Computing - Tories on the attack over DNA database
Summary: The Conservative Party have committed any future government they lead to scrapping the universal retention of the DNA of those not convicted of a crime, and have denounced the government for acting illegally by continuing to expand the DNA database and demanded the practice ends immediately.


2008-12-16 - ZDNet - Home Office to review DNA database, RIPA
Author: David Meyer
Summary: In her speech, Smith also conceded that the issue of the UK's vast DNA database "had been put back in the spotlight" by a recent European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) decision, which ruled that countries such as the UK have no right to retain the DNA profiles of those suspected but not convicted of crimes.
2008-12-16 - Kable - Home Office stalls on DNA database decision
Summary: Home secretary Jacqui Smith has announced plans for a white paper on forensics, but not whether the government will change its policy on the retention of DNA data. There has been speculation that the government would soon have to change its policy on whose DNA record could be kept on the national database, following a judgement earlier this month by the European Court of Human Rights that the current practice of retaining data on people who were not convicted is illegal. In a speech to the IT trade association Intellect on 16 December 2008, Smith announced one change in policy: the government will immediately begin to remove the DNA of children under 10 - the age of responsibility - from the database. But she remained non-commital on the broader use of the database, saying only that the government will bring forward proposals for consultation on the retention of DNA samples in a forensics white paper next year.
2008-12-15 - Council of Europe - More control is needed of police databases
Author: Council of Europe's Commissioner for Human Rights Thomas Hammarberg
Summary: DNA is biological material from human cells and represents an individual's unique identity. It contains details of the composition and functioning of our bodies as well as of our ethnic and familial heritage. Fingerprints, DNA profiles and cellular samples all constitute personal data. The mere retention of such data amounts to an interference with the right to private life within the meaning of Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights. ... data should not simply be stored indefinitely for a possible future match. ...The arguments in favour of a population-wide DNA database are not compelling. Retention of DNA samples and profiles should be confined to those convicted or cautioned of serious offences, for example violent and/or sexual offences, and then only for a limited time.
2008-12-05 - The Times - Police are ordered to destroy all DNA samples taken from innocent people
Author: Richard Ford
Summary: More than 1.6 million DNA and fingerprint samples of innocent people on police databases must be destroyed after a court ruled yesterday that keeping them breaches human rights. The landmark judgment by the European Court of Human Rights is a big setback for the Government and police, who insist that storing the records is a key weapon in fighting crime. Ministers have until March to implement the ruling or find a way of retaining records that satisfies the court. Until then none of the records will be removed from the databases. ... Shami Chakrabarti, director of Liberty, welcomed the decision. "The court has used human rights principles and common sense to deliver the privacy protection of innocent people that the British Government has shamefully failed to deliver," she said.
2008-12-05 - The Times - DNA: what happens after an arrest
Author: Adam Fresco
Summary: When a suspect is arrested for a record-able offence a mouth swab is taken, usually when the person has arrived at a police station and the custody sergeant has authorised detention. A sterile kit is used, and the sample is transferred to a forensic science laboratory. A huge machine will process a tray of about 100 samples, in separate glass vessels, at a time. ...
2008-12-04 - Conservative Party Press Release - DNA database must be put on a statutory basis
Summary: Dominic Grieve said our approach to a national DNA database has been vindicated by the ruling that two British men should not have had their DNA and fingerprints retained by police. The Shadow Home Secretary said the decision by the European Court of Human Rights "vindicates all that we have been saying about the Government's wrong-headed approach to this issue which has caused so much resentment amongst the law abiding majority". He called on Jacqui Smith to "come forward and say what steps she will now take", given that the profiles of more than a million innocent people are currently on the UK's DNA database. And he laid out the Conservative stance on the issue: "We would have a Parliamentary debate about the database and put it on a statutory basis."
2008-12-04 - Spy Blog - ECHR judgment on the Marper case - rules that UK Government and Police indefinite retention of innocent people's tissue samples, DNA profiles and fingerprints is illegal
Summary: The European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg has finally published its judgment in the long running Marper case, about the indefinite retention of DNA tissue samples, DNA profiles and fingerprints by the Police, even when people are not charged or found not guilty of an alleged crime. The ECHR has ruled that the current UK Government policy breaches Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights
2008-12-04 - The Times - European ruling could force 'innocent' DNA samples to be removed from UK database
Author: Richard Ford
Summary: Hundreds of thousands of DNA and fingerprint samples face being removed from police national databases after a court ruled today that holding details of people with no criminal convictions breaches human rights laws. The European Court of Human rights said in a landmark judgment that retaining the fingerprints and DNA samples of people acquitted of crime, or when proceedings are dropped, breaches a person's right to respect for private life.
2008-12-04 - European Court of Human Rights - CASE OF S. AND MARPER v. THE UNITED KINGDOM
Summary: In conclusion, the Court finds that the blanket and indiscriminate nature of the powers of retention of the fingerprints, cellular samples and DNA profiles of persons suspected but not convicted of offences, as applied in the case of the present applicants, fails to strike a fair balance between the competing public and private interests and that the respondent State has overstepped any acceptable margin of appreciation in this regard. Accordingly, the retention at issue constitutes a disproportionate interference with the applicants’ right to respect for private life and cannot be regarded as necessary in a democratic society.
2008-12-03 - Kable - Lib Dems criticise 'shambolic' DNA database
Summary: The Liberal Democrats party has said it has evidence that the DNA database is not helping to solve crimes. The party has released research, compiled from a series of answers to parliamentary questions, that it said indicates the shortcomings of the database. Among the findings are that, at the end of March this year, 2.3 million criminals — 41.6 percent of those with a record on the Police National Computer (PNC) — were not on the DNA database. Altogether, there are 3.26 million records on the database, compared with 5.58 million on the PNC. At the same time, the number of crimes solved using DNA evidence fell by nearly 11.7 percent last year. A total of 17,614 crimes were solved using DNA evidence in 2007-08, compared with 19,949 in 2006-07 and a peak of 21,098 in 2002-03. The Liberal Democrats also highlighted findings that about 850,000 people on the DNA database have no criminal record, and that, since its creation, details on more than one million children have been added.
2008-11-17 - The Telegraph - More than one million added to the DNA database as children
Author: Christopher Hope
Summary: Campaigners said the revelations showed how children are being criminalised and treated as "suspects for life". Official figures show that, since the DNA database was created, 1.07million profiles of children have been added. This is nearly a quarter of the 4.4million profiles on the database. Anyone who comes into contact with the police, as an offender or a witness, can have a DNA sample taken for the database. Ministers and the police say the database is a vital tool in solving crimes, and has helped detectives crack major cases including murder and rape. A breakdown of the figures shows that the profiles of more 100,000 children had their DNA taken when they were under 13, and the profiles of more than half a million children were added to the database when they were aged between 13 and 15. In the past three years, 48,500 children under-13 and 204,666 children aged between 13 and 15 were added.
2008-11-08 - Spy Blog - House of Lords minor amendment to the Counter-Terrorism Bill - removing your innocent DNA from Government databases - rejected by the Commons
Summary: The House of Lords has voted to accept a minor Opposition Amendment regarding the removal of innocent people's DNA profiles, human tissue samples and fingerprints from centralised Government database, during the first part of the Report stage of the controversial Counter-Terrorism Bill 2008
2008-10-08 - Reuters - DNA fingerprinting could reveal your surname
Summary: British researchers say one day it will be possible for the police to predict the surname of male suspects from DNA.
2008-09-16 - Liberal Democrats - Respect, Consent and Personal Data
Author: Baroness Walmsley
Summary: The Liberal Democrats Autumn Conference will today debate bold proposals to remove children from the DNA database and to reduce the amount of personal data kept by the Government. The key plans include: * Removing the DNA profiles of children under 16 from the DNA database, except those convicted of a violent or sexual offence. * Ensuring all people who are arrested or charged but not convicted, except in the case of violent or sexual offences, have the right to remove their profile from the DNA database. * Properly informing citizens of opt-outs from government databases. * Introducing extensive civil penalties for serious breaches of data security. * Strengthening the role and funding arrangements of the Information Commissioner. Mover: Baroness Walmsley
2008-09-05 - Kable - DNA database costs soar
Summary: Home Office figures show that the cost of the running the national DNA database has more than doubled since 2002-03. Minister Meg Hillier MP said that in 2002-03 the cost of DNA database services was £774,300, but that service and IT development delivery costs for 2008-09 are projected as £1.77m. In 2006-07, that figure reached £2.04m, although it dropped to £1.6m last year. ... Hiller also revealed that in April this year that the database contained almost 350,000 sample profiles from children and adolescents aged 10 to 17. "There are more profiles than individuals, due to DNA samples being taken from some individuals on more than one occasion," she said. "It is estimated that the current rate of profile replication is about 13.3%."
2008-08-03 - Mail On Sunday - Innocent MP fingerprinted after his uncle's murder discovers his details are still on DNA database one year on
Summary: A Tory MP fingerprinted after the murder of his 80-year-old uncle claimed last night that he is an innocent victim of Labour's 'Big Brother' surveillance state. "I accept it is helping to solve crimes," Greg Hands added, "but it seems to me the Home Office and police are building up a national, universal DNA database by stealth. They are trying to get all 60million of us by hook or by crook on to it." "They are using every possible reason to collect data from people like me whose links with crime in particular or general are extremely tenuous. Parliament has never approved a universal DNA database."
2008-07-30 - Reuters - Citizens want innocent taken off UK's DNA database
Author: Ben Hirschler
Summary: Britain's DNA database, the most comprehensive in the world, should remove details of people who are acquitted of crimes, a government-funded panel said on Wednesday.
2008-07-30 - Liberal Democrats - Innocent people should be removed from DNA database
Author: David Howarth MP
Summary: Commenting on the results of the Citizens’ Inquiry into the DNA database published today which calls for innocent people to have their records removed, Liberal Democrat Home Affairs Spokesperson, David Howarth said: "All the experts and the public agree that innocent people should be removed from the DNA database." "There must be better ways of catching criminals than spending millions of pounds of taxpayers money adding innocent people to the DNA database." "Public confidence has been shattered by the Government’s Orwellian attempts to create a national DNA database by stealth." "To restore confidence, ministers must consider placing the DNA database under the control of an independent body."
2008-07-28 - Liberal Democrats - Home Office allowing private companies access to the DNA database
Author: Jenny Willott MP
Summary: The Home office has been allowing private companies access to the DNA database for commercial reasons, according to research by the Liberal Democrats. The information, revealed in response to Freedom of Information requests, shows how: * Up to May of this year, the Home Office approved 25 applications for research projects using DNA profiles from the DNA database * 5 are from private companies - Three from LGC and two from Orchid Cellmark * In some of the research projects, full details are not disclosed because of FOI s43. This allows companies to not give details because it would harm their commercial interests. * No one whose DNA is being used in these projects has given their consent. * Innocent people are on the database, and their DNA will have been included in the research. * The police, many of whose officers have added themselves to the DNA database voluntarily, rejected a request for their DNA samples to be used in a research project. Liberal Democrat MP, Jenny Willott said: "For nearly a decade, the Home Office has been secretly approving controversial research projects using profiles from the DNA database." ...
2008-07-25 - The Telegraph - Millions of profiles from DNA database passed to private firms
Author: Christopher Hope
Summary: Millions of profiles on the national DNA database have been handed over secretly to private companies without the consent of those involved. Papers obtained under the Freedom of Information Act show that on five occasions since 2004 private firms with police contracts have successfully applied to use the database to help them develop computer programs. The DNA database contains records of 4.2 million people, of which a million have never been convicted of an offence. Records are rarely deleted, even if a person is not charged. The companies involved were not given the identities of the people whose DNA profiles they analysed and used them for research that could be useful to the police. But critics said it was unacceptable that profiles had been handed over secretly without any public debate or the consent of those concerned.
2008-07-22 - OUT-LAW.COM - Police guidance on data deletion is flawed, says Information Tribunal
Summary: The data protection guidance given to police forces on when to delete records of criminal convictions is inadequate, according to the body which hears appeals under the Data Protection Act. The Information Tribunal, which adjudicates on appeals against orders from the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO), said that guidance issued to forces is unsuitable. The Tribunal said that the producer of the guidance, the Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO), ignored its previous orders on the issue.
2008-07-22 - Kable - Police told to delete records and DNA
Summary: The Information Tribunal has told five police forces to remove old, minor criminal records from databases, while a Home Office group has recommended the deletion of DNA records taken from volunteers
2008-07-22 - Liberal Democrats - Adding DNA of innocents is a breach of faith
Author: Chris Huhne MP
Summary: Commenting on today’s report by the Ethics Group on the DNA database, Liberal Democrat Shadow Home Secretary, Chris Huhne said: "The Ethics Group has rightly highlighted how deeply unethical parts of the DNA database are." "It is totally unacceptable that innocent people who have given their DNA in good faith to assist with a police investigation are being treated like criminals and added to the database." "Innocent people should not have to apply to have their DNA removed from the database. They should not be on it in the first place. Adding their DNA is a breach of faith."
2008-06-29 - The Register - Gordo's DNA database claims branded 'ridiculous'
Author: Chris Williams
Summary: Gordon Brown has been accused of deliberately misleading the public by claiming that not retaining genetic profiles of innocent people on the National DNA Database (NDNAD) would have led to 114 murderers getting away. The charge was made on Friday by the genetics lobby group GeneWatch UK. ... Wallace said: "This claim [that 114 murderers would have probably walked away] is both ridiculous and entirely false. DNA matches are not solved crimes - many matches occur with victims and with passers-by, or are false matches. People are not stupid - they know that keeping their children's DNA when they've done nothing wrong is not helping to solve crimes."
2008-06-09 - The Guardian - ID cards could help turn Britain into a surveillance society, warn MPs
Author: Nicholas Watt
Summary: A compulsory national identity card scheme could be used to monitor the movements of British citizens because of the dangers of "function creep", a committee of MPs warned yesterday. ... The MPs gave the example of the new national DNA database, which contains details of 5.2% of the British population, compared with 0.5% on a similar database in the US. The committee described the UK database as a "valuable investigative tool" which has been particularly useful in helping police solve old crimes. But the report added: "The sensitive nature of the information which may be yielded by DNA heightens the degree of responsibility borne by the government." ... David Davis, the shadow home secretary, told BBC1's The Politics Show: "We have the worst of all worlds. We have got the biggest DNA database, not just in the free world, but in the world, with over a million innocent people on it."
2008-06-09 - The Times - MPs fear ID cards could be used for spying
Author: Richard Ford
Summary: The multibillion-pound identity card scheme could be used to carry out surveillance on millions of people, a Commons select committee said yesterday. MPs added that they were seriously concerned at the way that local councils and other agencies were using spying powers to deal with low-level crimes such as dropping litter. In a 117-page report on surveillance, the Commons Home Affairs Select Committee urged the Government to make it easier for the public to challenge decisions to keep their DNA on the national database. Keith Vaz, its chairman, said: "What we are calling for is an overall principle of 'least data, for least time'. We have all seen over the past year extraordinary examples of how badly things can go wrong when data is mis-handled, with potentially disastrous consequences." ... Yesterday's report said that at the end of last year 656,000 of the 4.2 million samples on the DNA database were replicas and that thousands more were samples taken from people who were arrested but not charged subsequently with an offence.
2008-06-08 - Liberal Democrats Press Release - 1m innocent people must be removed from the DNA database
Author: Jenny Willott MP
Summary: Tomorrow in Parliament, the Liberal Democrats will call for all innocent people to have their details removed from the DNA database. Currently, one million people who have not being convicted of any crime have their names on the database. Commenting, Liberal Democrat Shadow Work and Pensions Secretary, Jenny Willott, who is tabling the 10-minute Rule Bill, said: "It is a complete disgrace that one million innocent people are trapped on the DNA database with almost no chance of getting themselves removed." "Innocent citizens have every right to demand that their details are removed, particularly as this Government has shown itself incapable of managing data properly."
2008-06-08 - BBC - ID cards 'could threaten privacy'
Summary: The government should limit the data it collects on citizens for its ID card scheme to avoid creating a surveillance society, a group of MPs has warned. The home affairs select committee called for proper safeguards on the plans for compulsory ID cards to stop "function creep" threatening privacy. It wants a guarantee the scheme will not be expanded without MPs' approval. The Ministry of Justice said it had to balance protecting the public with protecting a right to privacy. ... The report also urged the government to set up new controls on the National DNA Database to prevent "unnecessary invasions of privacy". It said the system should be changed to make it easier for people whose DNA is on the system to challenge its retention.
2008-06-07 - The Times - DNA database under threat from European court, warns police chief
Author: Sean O'Neill
Summary: Murder, rape and child abuse investigations will be hampered if a European court rules that more than 500,000 DNA samples should be removed from Britain's National DNA Database, a senior police chief has told The Times. In his first interview since standing down as chairman of the database, Tony Lake gave warning that serious crimes would go undetected if judges barred police from storing the DNA of people who had been arrested but not subsequently convicted of an offence. Mr Lake, Chief Constable of Lincolnshire, urged ministers to consider all possible options if the court's ruling went against Britain.
2008-05-05 - Daily Mail - DNA bank solves only one crime for every 800 new entries
Author: James Slack
Summary: A massive expansion in the Government's DNA database has brought fewer than a thousand criminals to justice, it was revealed last night. ... Phil booth, of th eNO2ID civil liberties campaign, said: "This utterly blows away the myth that the DNA database is the perfect detection tool. It is, in fact, creating a nation of suspects." Shadow Home Secretary David Davis said "This demonstrates that the Government's arbitrary and haphazard approach to the DNA database has done little to make the public safer."
2008-04-07 - Kable - LibDems protest over children's DNA
Summary: Under 18s now account for one in four people added to the National DNA Database. Liberal Democrat justice spokesperson Jenny Willott released the figures, obtained from a parliamentary question, with the claim that the government is dragging children into the criminal justice system. They show that between October 2007 and January 2008 25% of those added were 18 or younger, compared with less than 11% of those already on the database. Willott said that under 18s are being added at the rate of 5,000 per month. "There is something horribly Big Brotherish about a society that is adding over 5,000 kids a month to a DNA database when they're not even old enough to get a National Insurance Number," she said.
2008-02-23 - Reuters - Compulsory DNA database ruled out
Author: John Joseph
Summary: The government has ruled out introducing a compulsory DNA database on practical and ethical grounds, the Home Office said on Saturday.
2008-01-07 - The Register - How to delete your DNA profile
Author: David Mery
Summary: David Mery, who got caught up in the anti-terrorism efforts of the metropolitan police, due to his "suspicious behaviour" at a tube station (wearing a heavy jacket on a cold summer's day), has gone through the process of having his DNA profile removed from the national database, possibly.


2007-11-26 - The Telegraph - Innocents fear DNA database errors
Author: Lucy Cockcroft
Summary: Thousands of people could be accused of a crime they did not commit as a result of errors in records on the national DNA database, it emerged last night. In the past year, more than 100 possible inaccuracies in the documentation of DNA profiles have been discovered, and a further 1,500 administrative mistakes have been logged on the system. The figures, uncovered through a Freedom Of Information request, reveal incorrect spellings, dates, police crime codes and duplications that have left many records compromised.
2007-11-19 - Computerworld UK - Government policies threaten data privacy, warns information commissioner
Author: Tash Shifrin
Summary: Information commissioner Richard Thomas has listed a string of government policies that he feels threaten data protection rights. The data protection watchdog provided the list to the House of Lords constitution committee as part of its inquiry into the impact of surveillance and data collection. ... It was "hugely important that parliament is vigilant" about data protection issues arising from legislation, Thomas said. He warned that "perhaps there hasn’t always been as much scrutiny as I would like to see", citing the huge expansion of the national DNA database. DNA records taken by police were now held on the database even where individuals were not convicted of any offence, he said. There were more DNA profiles on the database "than anyone would have contemplated" when the legislation establishing it was debated ion 2003, he said.
2007-11-06 - BBC - Head of criminal justice comes out against citizen-wide DNA database
Summary: Sir Igor Judge (head of Criminal Justice in England & Wales, and deputy chairman of the Sentencing Guidelines Council) "I don't agree ... I don't think we should have to account to the state for anything we do unless we are doing something wrong ... I think if I volunteered to give my DNA that's up to me ... but if I chose not to volunteer not to do it then I would extremely alarmed if someone said that I should be compelled to do it"
2007-11-06 - The Register - Brown moots register for terrorists, DNA rights for MI5
Author: John Lettice
Summary: Anti-terrorism proposals outlined by the Government today will include a sex-offenders style register for those convicted of terrorism offences, and will allow MI5 to access the UK's large and fast-growing DNA database. These measures come on top of the anticipated bid to increase the length of pre-charge questioning time for terror suspects, which will also be included in the Counter-terrorism Bill.
2007-11-05 - Liberal Democrats press release - Almost 150,000 children on DNA database
Author: Nick Clegg MP
Summary: Almost 150,000 children currently under the age of 16 have their details on the Government’s DNA database, figures uncovered by the Liberal Democrats have shown. The headline figure masks extremely wide variations between forces, with Northamptonshire retaining just 845 DNA profiles of under-16s, whilst West Midlands Police have over 10,000 and the Metropolitan Police have over 16,000. The number of samples taken may be even higher, as figures show the current age of the individual sampled, rather than their age at the time. Commenting, Liberal Democrat Shadow Home Secretary, Nick Clegg MP said: "These figures underline the shocking extent to which this database has intruded, often without parental consent, into the lives of our children." "Thousands of these children will have been found guilty of no crime, yet samples of their DNA will remain on file for life." "The disturbing and illiberal policy of adding a child’s most personal information to a massive government computer system, simply on the grounds of an accusation, must stop immediately." "The Government has to come up with a proportionate and sensible way of using this technology, not the unfair scattergun approach that currently prevails."
2007-11-05 - The Register - Petty crimes, 150,000 kids and a million new records
Author: Lucy Sherriff
Summary: Police DNA database under fire. Have you ever used one of those machines at a fairground or on a seaside pier? You know, the ones that stretch a penny out, imprinting it with a touristy message and the date of your holiday? Well, get yourself down to the local nick and hand over your fingerprints and a DNA sample immediately, because defacing a coin is one of 5,000 offences that will qualify you for inclusion on the Police National Computer, according to a report from The Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO). Other qualifying crimes include picking wildflowers, cruelty to a badger and attempting to kill yourself.
2007-11-05 - Kable - "Illiberal" DNA policy under fire
Summary: The Home Office has defended its policy of keeping DNA profiles of young offenders against an attack by the Liberal Democrats. Figures obtained by Jenny Willott, the Liberal Democrat MP for Cardiff Central, reveal that almost 150,000 children under 16 have their DNA profiles stored on the government's DNA database.
2007-10-25 - The Scotsman - Whose DNA? Forensic boom stokes ethical fears
Author: Ben Hirschler
Summary: Alec Jeffreys, the genetics professor who invented DNA fingerprinting in 1984 ... yet he is worried. He fears society has failed to grasp the ethical issues of DNA collection, its potential for abuse and the limitations of genetic analysis. "The legislation is lagging really rather seriously behind the use of the database," he said. "I take the simple view that my genome is mine. Under some circumstances, I’ll allow the state limited access. But prying into my DNA …? I am wholly opposed to that."
2007-09-25 - Kable - Scotland reviews forensics data rules
Summary: A review will examine procedures for retaining the forensic data of those accused of sexual or violent offences in Scotland Professor James Fraser, head of Strathclyde University's Centre for Forensic Science, will examine the way police use forensic science to fight crime. Under Scotland's current system police must destroy the fingerprint and DNA records of all suspects who are not convicted, except where a suspect is arrested or detained and criminal proceedings were raised against them for a sexual or violent offence. New laws implemented in January mean that, in such cases, the police can delay the destruction of DNA records for three years, or potentially longer with the agreement of a sheriff. This law does not, however, apply to fingerprint records. The review, announced by the Scottish Government on 24 September 2007, will examine the effectiveness of the laws governing the acquisition, use and destruction of forensic data by police.
2007-09-18 - The Register - Bioethics group raises DNA database concerns
Author: Amber Marks
Summary: The Nuffield Council on Bioethics has condemned the retention of "innocent" DNA on the National Database as unjustifed and unethical with "overtones of a police state". The council - a group of clinicians, lawyers, philosophers, scientists, and theologians - was established in 1991 to examine ethical issues raised by new developments in science. In its report, The Forensic Use of DNA and Fingerprints: Ethical Issues, the council recommends that police should only be allowed to permanently store bioinformation from people who are convicted of a crime.
2007-09-18 - Kable - Ethics body calls for DNA safeguards
Summary: An independent medical body has warned that more controls are needed to protect the innocent against unjustified DNA profiling. The Nuffield Council on Bioethics, which examines ethical issues raised by new developments in medicine, has sounded the warning in a new report on The forensic use of bioinformation.
2007-09-18 - BBC News - Experts call for DNA restrictions
Summary: A group of eminent lawyers and scientists is calling for anyone not convicted of a crime to have their details wiped from the DNA database. The Nuffield Council on Bioethics said it is "unjustified" to keep people on the National DNA Database when they have not been convicted of any offence. Some four million DNA samples are on the police's database.
2007-09-17 - The Times - DNA database ‘puts innocent under suspicion’
Author: Mark Henderson
Summary: DNA fingerprints of people who have not been convicted of a crime should be removed from the national database, Britain’s most influential ethical think-tank recommended yesterday. In a report that is highly critical of the Government’s approach to forensic use of genetic information, the Nuffield Council on Bioethics found it unacceptable for the police to keep DNA records from victims of crime, witnesses and suspects who are later acquitted or never charged. The panel of scientists, philosophers, criminologists and lawyers also urged ministers to drop proposals to allow the police to take and store DNA from people suspected of less serious crimes, such as minor traffic offences and littering.
2007-09-17 - The Guardian - Police must not store DNA details of the innocent
Author: Alok Jha
Summary: The government must prevent police from storing the profiles of innocent people on the national DNA database, an influential group of experts has said. The Nuffield Council on Bioethics also recommended that ministers drop plans to extend police powers that would see DNA samples being taken from people suspected of minor offences such as littering or speeding.
2007-09-17 - BBC News - Concern over DNA database access
Summary: Strict controls are needed to ensure genetic information collected for research is not used inappropriately by outside parties, experts have warned. Many DNA databases have been collated for specific studies on genes and disease, a British Society of Human Genetics meeting in York heard. But pressure from other researchers to access the data puts patient anonymity at risk, experts warned.
2007-09-15 - The Daily Mail - Outrage as DNA profile of seven-month-old baby is added to register
Author: Jason Lewis
Summary: The DNA of a seven-month-old baby girl has been added to the police's national database designed to identify criminals. The disclosure reignited the row over the growth of Britain's DNA register, which is the biggest in the world. Human rights groups accuse the Government of building a genetic record of the entire UK population by stealth. It was revealed this year that more than 100,000 DNA samples had been taken from children, aged ten to 16, who have never been charged or convicted of any crime.
2007-09-08 - The Independent on Sunday - Europe to rule on whether police can keep DNA of innocent people
Author: Robert Verkaik
Summary: Police could lose the power to keep DNA samples taken from suspects who have been cleared of any wrongdoing, in a landmark case which is to be decided by the highest court in Europe. A ruling against the British Government could lead to the destruction of tens of thousands of DNA and fingerprint materials as well as deal a severe blow to any plans to create a universal genetic database. The challenge at the European Court of Human Rights is being brought by a teenager, known as S, who was arrested and charged with attempted robbery aged 11 in 2001, and Michael Marper, from Sheffield, who was arrested on harassment charges, aged 38, in the same year. Both were cleared and have no criminal records.
2007-09-07 - OUT-LAW - Plan to put everyone in DNA database hinges on human rights case
Summary: Lord Justice Sedley's proposal to put everyone in the UK on a DNA database would be dependent on a British man's case against the UK at the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR), according to a privacy law expert. Michael Marper is objecting to the retention of his DNA information on the Home Office's database, despite the fact that he has never been convicted of a crime. He has appealed through the English courts and the ECHR agreed earlier this year to hear his case.
2007-09-05 - Liberty - Liberty calls proposal for universal DNA database "dangerous"
Summary: In response to Lord Justice Sedley’s proposal that every man, woman and child in the UK should be obligated to provide DNA samples for the national database, Liberty Director Shami Chakrabarti said: “The current DNA database is discriminatory, but the course of equality is not advanced by treating everyone equally badly. We need a manageable database of those who have been convicted of sexual and violent crime. Taking the DNA of every man, woman and child is as expensive and impractical as it is dangerous. It ignores the extremely intimate nature of DNA and the massive scope for error and abuse well into the future.“ “The people of Britain are no more criminal or dangerous than in any other country. Perhaps someone could explain why we need the intrusion and expense of the biggest DNA database on the planet?” Britain’s DNA database is proportionately the largest in the world. Approximately 4 million people have their DNA permanently retained on the National DNA database. It is alleged to contain more than 100,000 DNA samples taken from childre
2007-09-05 - BBC News - 'No plan' for DNA samples for all
Summary: There are no plans to make it compulsory for everyone in the UK to be on the national DNA database, the government has said. The Human Genetics Commission said creating such a huge database would be too expensive and prone to mistakes being made. Civil rights group, Liberty, meanwhile, attacked the proposal as "chilling" and "ripe for abuse". A spokesman for Prime Minister Gordon Brown said DNA had helped tackle crime, but expanding the database would create "huge logistical and bureaucratic issues" and civil liberty concerns. He said there were no plans for a voluntary national or compulsory UK database.
2007-09-05 - BBC News - 'Blanket DNA retention' ruled out
Summary: The Scottish Government has dismissed a call by a senior judge in England for an expansion of the UK's DNA database. ... Scottish Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill said blanket retention was "unacceptable". A spokesman for the Scottish Government said: "On 26 June, the justice secretary Kenny MacAskill announced a review of DNA retention in Scotland. "In announcing the review, Mr MacAskill said that blanket retention was unacceptable in the relationship between the citizen and state. "The review is expected to begin very shortly."
2007-09-05 - The Independent - Top judge: 'Put everyone on DNA database'
Summary: The entire UK population and every visitor to the country should be on the national DNA database, a top judge has said. Lord Justice Sedley told BBC News: "Where we are at the moment is indefensible. "We have a situation where if you happen to have been in the hands of the police, then your DNA is on permanent record. If you haven't, it isn't... that's broadly the picture." Sir Stephen Sedley said disproportionate numbers of ethnic minorities get on to the database where there is ethnic profiling going on.
2007-09-05 - The Guardian - Judge wants everyone in UK on DNA database
Author: James Orr
Summary: The entire UK population and every visitor to Britain should be put on the national DNA database, a top judge said today. Lord Chief Justice Sedley, one of England's most experienced appeal court judges, described the country's current system as "indefensible". He said expanding the existing database to cover the whole population had "serious but manageable implications".
2007-09-05 - The Times - Senior judge: put all of UK on DNA database
Summary: A senior judge has said the entire UK population and every visitor to the country should be on the national DNA database. Lord Justice Sedley, one of the most experienced Appeal Court judges in England, said that an extended database would aid crime prevention and the current database was unfair and inconsistent.
2007-09-05 - BBC News - All UK 'must be on DNA database'
Summary: The whole population and every UK visitor should be added to the national DNA database, a senior judge has said. Lord Justice Sedley said the current database, which holds DNA from crime suspects and scenes, was "indefensible" because it was unfair and inconsistent. ... But Professor Stephen Bain, a member of the national DNA database strategy board, warned expansion would be expensive and make mistakes more likely.
2007-08-30 - The Independent - DNA database chaos with 500,000 false or misspelt entries
Author: Marie Woolf
Summary: Over 500,000 names on the DNA database are false, misspelt or incorrect, the Government has admitted. Ministers have disclosed that one in seven of the genetic profiles on the controversial database is a "replicate", raising alarming questions about the integrity and accuracy of the entire system.
2007-08-05 - The Guardian - Comment is free - Each DNA swab brings us closer to a police state
Author: Henry Porter
Summary: The move to widen the UK genetic database is yet another example of a relentless desire to monitor every aspect of our everyday lives. ... Taken in the context of the ID card database, the national surveillance of vehicles and retention of information about every individual motorway journey, the huge number of new criminal offences, the half million intercepts of private communications every year, the proposed measures to take 53 pieces of information from everyone wishing to go abroad, which will include powers to prevent travel, this widening of the DNA database for minor misdemeanours confirms the pattern of attack on us all. It is time to pay attention to what the government under Labour has done to British society and what may be awaiting us just a short distance down the road.
2007-08-04 - The Telegraph - Our privacy belongs to us not the Government
Author: Sam Leith
Summary: The British police, I was bleakly surprised to read in The Daily Telegraph this week, have the biggest single DNA database in the world, with more than five per cent of the population logged, including nearly a million children under 17. ... Our privacy is something that belongs to us: not something the Government gives us, on probation, as a favour. They serve us: not vice versa. This may be a matter of principle, but it is one that could scarcely have more profound practical importance. The only way to make absolutely certain that a national DNA database is not subject to abuse - by this police service or any successor police service; by this Government or any successor government - is to make absolutely certain that such a database does not exist in the first place.
2007-08-03 - Kable - Police wary of blanket DNA checks
Summary: The chair of the National DNA Database has knocked government proposals to extend DNA sampling for low level crime
2007-08-02 - Liberal Democrat - More than one person a minute added to DNA database
Author: Nick Clegg MP
Summary: People are being added to the DNA database at a rate of more than one every minute, according to the Liberal Democrats. The statistic comes amid reports that the Home Office has been urged to allow police to take DNA samples for offences such as dropping litter. In an answer to a Parliamentary Question by Liberal Democrat Shadow Home Secretary, Nick Clegg MP, the Government admitted that 722,464 profiles were added to the DNA database in 2006-07, the equivalent of one every 45 seconds. Commenting, Nick Clegg said: "The Government’s onward march towards a surveillance state has now become a headlong rush." "They seem determined to hoover up the DNA details of as many people as they can, regardless of guilt or innocence. "We already have by far the largest DNA database in the world, and these figures make it clear just how fast it’s growing." "DNA is a vital tool in the fight against crime, but such a massive database must be subjected to proper scrutiny - especially when it contains details of nearly 150,000 people who were never charged, let alone convicted of an offence."
2007-08-02 - The Daily Mail - Speeding drivers face DNA swabs under new Big Brother powers
Author: James Slack
Summary: Drivers stopped for speeding - or even for failing to wear a seatbelt - could soon be placed on the 'Big Brother' DNA database for life. The most trivial offences, such as dropping litter, would also lead to samples being taken under sweeping new powers which police are demanding. The samples would stay on the database, alongside those of murderers and rapists, even if the people involved were later cleared of any wrongdoing.
2007-08-02 - The Guardian - Police may be given power to take DNA samples in the street
Author: Alan Travis
Summary: The Home Office is considering giving the police the power to take a DNA sample on the street, without taking the suspect to a police station, as well as taking samples from suspects in relatively minor offences such as littering, speeding or not wearing a seat belt. The move comes as an official genetics watchdog prepares a public inquiry into the police national DNA database, following concern over the retention of samples from people acquitted of any offence, and disclosure that the database holds DNA records for one in three of British black males.The database is the largest in the world, with 3.4m profiles, more than 5% of the UK population. If the powers are granted, it would expand massively.
2007-08-02 - The Times - Police want DNA from speeding drivers and litterbugs on database
Author: Richard Ford
Summary: Police are seeking powers to take DNA samples from suspects on the streets and for non-imprisonable offences such as speeding and dropping litter. The demand for a huge expansion of powers to take DNA comes as a government watchdog announced the first public inquiry into the national DNA database. There is growing concern among MPs and civil liberties groups about the number of children under 10 and young black men on the database — the biggest in the world. But a number of police forces in England and Wales are backing proposals that would add millions more samples to it.
2007-06-15 - The Register - UK government tunes out debate on DNA database
Author: Mark Ballard
Summary: The government has responded to an e-petition on the burgeoning DNA database but rebuffed its main complaint that the world's largest criminological genetic store has been built "by stealth" and without Parliamentary and public consent.
2007-06-15 - Number 10 epetition - StopDNAbystealth - epetition reply
Summary: In response to a petition on the number 10 website the goverment responded by saying "Police powers to take DNA on arrest are laid down by the Police and Criminal Evidence Act. Amendments to this Act to widen these powers in recent years have been made by the normal legislative process requiring parliamentary consent. In 2001, the Criminal Justice and Police Act 2001 amended PACE so that the police no longer had to destroy DNA taken from people who were acquitted or where charges were dropped; the Criminal Justice Act 2003 widened police powers so that DNA can be taken from anyone arrested for a recordable offence regardless of whether they are later charged or convicted. While the Government understands that some people are concerned by these powers it firmly believes that they are justified by the additional crimes solved. Sampling persons who have been arrested but not proceeded against has yielded a match with a crime scene in over 3,000 offences including 37 murders. 16 attempted murders and 90 rapes. The DNA Database does not contain information on criminal records (this is held on the Police National Computer). Someone whose DNA profile is held on the DNA Database but has not been convicted does not suffer as a result - they do not appear in any criminal record checks for job applications and the like, as they do not have such a record."
2007-05-29 - Liberal Democrat - Half of all black men on DNA database in three years time
Author: Menzies Campbell MP
Summary: Liberal Democrat Leader Menzies Campbell today raised concerns over the fact that over half of all British black men will soon have their information held on the DNA database. Menzies Campbell said the Government’s insistence on keeping people's records on a DNA database when they are not charged for an offence could seriously affect community relations. By 2010 over half of all British black men will find their information held on the database. Menzies Campbell said: "There is absolutely no justification for keeping the DNA record of anyone who is not charged with an offence." "This arbitrary method of collecting DNA will alienate minority groups who already feel unjustly targeted." "There is also a real risk that the DNA database could be misused." "With growing concern about racial profiling and disproportionality in criminal investigations, the need to keep innocent people on the DNA database is highly questionable and could damage community relations."
2007-05-27 - The Telegraph - Innocent - but on a criminal database
Author: Philip Johnston
Summary: The victim of a road accident and subsequent assault had his fingerprints and DNA taken because of a counter claim by his assailant. The Crown Prosecution Service decided that there was no case to answer and no further action would be taken. He has asked the police to destroy the fingerprints and DNA sample since he did not see why he should be on a criminal database for the rest of his life. This matter is now being considered by the chief constable of his local police force, who has the discretion to remove these records "in exceptional circumstances". Going by similar cases he should not hold his breath.
2007-05-23 - The Telegraph - DNA file on 100,000 innocent children
Author: Philip Johnston
Summary: Labour was accused last night of turning a generation of innocent youngsters into crime suspects by including their details on the national DNA database "by stealth". New figures show that the DNA of 100,000 children has been entered on to the criminal database even though they have never been charged with an offence. Critics called the development "sinister" and warned that the larger the database becomes, the greater the risk that the information it contains will be abused.
2007-05-23 - Daily Mail - Police put 100,000 innocent children on DNA database
Author: James Slack
Summary: The number of innocent children placed on the Government's vast DNA database for life has quadrupled in the past year to more than 100,000, it has emerged. The astonishing increase, which follows a controversial change to the law, was described by opposition MPs as an "extremely sinister development". It will fuel concerns that police are targeting for arrest youngsters who have done nothing wrong, simply to get their hands on their DNA.
2007-05-22 - Metro - 100,000 innocents on DNA database
Summary: The records of 100,000 innocent youngsters are now being kept on a 'sinister' DNA database by the Government, say campaigners. More than 80,000 youngsters' details have been added to the database in the past year, according to GeneWatch UK and Action On Rights For Children. They groups say they collected the figures from Home Office statistics.
2007-05-22 - GeneWatch - GeneWatch & ARCH PR: Over 100,000 innocent young people now on the National DNA Database
Author: GeneWatch and Action on Rights for Children.
Summary: Over 100,000 innocent young people now on the National DNA Database. In a briefing published today based on Home Office figures, GeneWatch UK and Action on Rights for Children calculate that the National DNA Database contains the records of at least 100,000 children and young people who have not committed any criminal offence. In the past year alone, more than 80,000 innocent children and young people were arrested in England and Wales and added to the database. "Anyone with access to the DNA Database can use these children's DNA profiles to trace where they have been, or who they are related to", said Dr Helen Wallace, Director of GeneWatch UK. "Do we really trust the Home Office not to misuse this information and to safeguard it from others who may want to infiltrate the system?" Terri Dowty, Director of Action on Rights for Children said: "These are shocking statistics. These children will be on the database for the rest of their lives. This means that whenever their DNA is found at a crime scene, they will have to be prepared to justify themselves. We are turning thousands of innocent children into lifelong suspects."
2007-05-21 - The Guardian - [http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk_news/story/0,,2084196,00.html

'Orwellian' CCTV in shires alarms senior police officer]

Author: Rachel Williams
Summary: Benefits of wide-ranging surveillance questioned. Deputy chief constable criticises DNA rules. Britain risks becoming an "Orwellian" society as CCTV cameras spread to quiet villages with low crime levels, a senior police officer warned yesterday. Ian Readhead, Hampshire's deputy chief constable, said he did not want to live in a country where every street corner was fitted with surveillance devices. He also criticised rules which meant DNA evidence and fingerprints could be kept for the rest of a teenager's life once they have been arrested for an offence, even if they never get in trouble again, and said there was a danger that speed cameras were seen by the public as a revenue-generating process rather than a genuine effort to reduce casualties.
2007-05-17 - The Register - 100,000 duff records on DNA database
Author: Mark Ballard
Summary: The complex relationship between the police, the National DNA Database Unit and the forensic service has left the UK's DNA database with at least 100,000 erroneous records
2007-05-17 - The Guardian - Crimes missed due to DNA 'failures'
Summary: Nearly 200 crimes went undetected for up to 11 years because of failures by Home Office forensic experts, it was been revealed. The offences included one paedophile offence, three robberies, nine burglaries, 19 drugs offences and 62 thefts. Ministers were first told of the problem in summer 2005 but it was only admitted to publicly on Thursday, with publication of the National DNA Database's annual report. Shadow home secretary David Davis said it was a "shambles" which showed the database needed significant reform. The report disclosed more than 26,000 DNA profiles were not added to the archive between 1995 and 2004.
2007-05-17 - Conservative Party - Latest DNA shambles undermines integrity of the system
Author: David Davis MP
Summary: Conservatives have reiterated calls for the National DNA Database to be placed on a statutory basis after it was revealed that more than 26,000 DNA samples were left off the system between 1995 and 2004. Shadow Home Secretary, David Davis, declared: "This latest shambles further undermines the integrity of the DNA database and reinforces our calls for a Parliamentary debate about the system, and for it to be put onto a statutory basis." He warned: "What the Government puts on the database is totally arbitrary. Criminals escape detection for some extremely serious crimes, yet a third of those people on the database - over 1.1 million people - have never been convicted of a crime." Mr Davis added: "Only this Home Office would have a DNA database that targets the innocent but not the guilty." He was speaking after it was revealed that 183 crimes went undetected for up to 11 years because of Home Office blunders. The crimes included child abuse, robberies, drug offences and theft. The Home Office confirmed that in July 2006, 2,317,555 people on the DNA database had a conviction or caution recorded on the Police National Computer. This means that of the 3,457,000 individuals on the database at the time, there were 1,139,445 people with a database record who had not been convicted of a crime.
2007-05-17 - Liberal Democrats - DNA revelation another example of home office incompetence
Author: Nick Clegg MP
Summary: Commenting on the news that nearly 200 crimes went undetected for up to 11 years because of failures by Home Office forensic experts, Liberal Democrat Shadow Home Secretary, Nick Clegg MP said: "Once again bad news from the Home Office is being smuggled out long after the problem was first identified. Why did the Home Office not come clean earlier?" "The Government’s reckless use of the DNA database means information is held on tens of thousands of innocent people. But this becomes even more incomprehensible when they can't even process data on the guilty." "This is another example of a database intended to protect the public that turns out to be faulty. With such a lack of transparency or competence, is it any wonder public scepticism about the vast ID database continues to grow?"
2007-05-14 - Kable - Kids' DNA stacks up in database
Summary: The government has said that over half a million children have had their DNA recorded on Britain's police database. Home secretary John Reid released the figure in the answer to a parliamentary question from his Conservative shadow David Davis, The Register has reported. He said that 521,901 children below the age of 16 are on the DNA database, with 90,919 being added last year. That was the most added in any year since the database was set up by the Conservative government in 1995. Davis said it was an "extremely sinister development".
2007-05-12 - Sunday Herald - Watchdog to examine use of DNA database
Author: Judith Duffy
Summary: The UK's genetics watchdog is to launch an inquiry into the retention of DNA samples by police amid concerns over Britain holding the biggest database of this type in the world. The records of more than three million people - equivalent to around 5% of the population - are held on the national DNA database, which was set up to help tackle crime. But there have been concerns about its impact on civil liberties, particularly in England and Wales, where officers now have the right to keep the DNA of innocent people, including children.
2007-05-11 - The Register - Half a million kids' DNA on UK police database
Author: Mark Ballard
Summary: Half a million children have had their DNA recorded on Britain's police database, the government admitted yesterday. The number of people being added to the police DNA database is rising rapidly, with a total of 667,737 people added to the database last year, home secretary John Reid said in a parliamentary written answer yesterday.
2007-05-11 - Daily Mail - Fears over innocent Britons' DNA being given to European police forces
Summary: Fears that the DNA profiles of UK citizens who have never been convicted of any crime could be shared across European police forces will be raised by an all party House of Lords committee. Peers on the Lords European Union Committee criticise the German EU Presidency for attempting to bypass the proper procedures in trying to incorporate the Prum Treaty into EU law. ... Lord Wright of Richmond, who chaired the Lords Committee looking at the Prum Treaty said: "We have serious concerns about the way the German Presidency are trying to incorporate the Prum Treaty into EU law."
2007-05-11 - The Independent - Reid accused of 'burying bad news' on release of ID card costs
Author: Nigel Morris
Summary: Reports they wanted to disappear - The number of under-16s whose genetic information has been added to the national DNA database has passed 500,000, the Home Secretary disclosed.
2007-05-08 - Black Britain - Govt challenged over DNA samples of innocent black people on national database
Summary: People from black and minority ethnic communities in the UK are three times more likely to have their DNA samples put on the national database, raising serious questions about the criminalisation of innocent people based purely on race. Last week, statistics were supplied by the Govt in response to a Parliamentary Question raised by Liberal Democrat Shadow Home Secretary, Nick Clegg MP. The figures reveal the number of people who have been arrested and whose DNA has been retained by the police, despite no criminal action being taken.
2007-05-03 - Liberal Democrats - Innocent people from minorities three times more likely to be on DNA database
Author: Nick Clegg MP
Summary: The Liberal Democrats today revealed statistics showing that innocent people from ethnic minorities are three times more likely to have had their DNA samples put on the national database. The figures, which were obtained in a written answer to a Parliamentary Question by Liberal Democrat Shadow Home Secretary, Nick Clegg MP, show the number of people who are arrested and have their DNA kept by the police, despite no further action being taken. The statistics are broken down by ethnicity and region. In Avon & Somerset, innocent people from ethnic minorities are over eight times more likely to have had their DNA samples taken and in Dorset, Dyfed Powys, Norfolk and Sussex it is five times more likely. A full breakdown by police force is attached. Commenting, Nick Clegg said: "These latest statistics are worrying on two counts. First because they confirm yet again the massive scale of the DNA information held on people who were not even charged with an offence, let alone convicted. This further blurs the fundamental distinction between innocence and guilt that Labour has undermined." "Second, because of the shocking disproportion of DNA information held on members of our ethnic minority communities, even those who have committed no crime." "This will serve to inflame suspicions that our black and ethnic minority communities are being subject to intrusive police surveillance not applied to other communities."
2007-04-11 - OUT-LAW.COM - DNA database 'will span most of the UK population'
Summary: The Government's DNA retention policy combined with increasingly sophisticated statistical techniques means that eventually most citizens in the UK will be linked to data stored on the police's DNA database, according to a privacy law expert. The outcome of an appeal to the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) that challenges the UK's DNA retention policy will not limit the ultimate reach of the DNA database, only the speed of its compilation, says Dr Chris Pounder of Pinsent Masons.
2007-03-31 - Evening Standard - Five civil servants suspended over "DNA espionage'
Summary: Five civil servants who help run the national DNA database have been suspended after being accused of industrial espionage. It is alleged they copied confidential information and used it to set up a rival database in competition with their employers, the Government's Forensic Science Service.
2007-02-16 - The Telegraph - DNA data deal 'will create Big Brother Europe'
Author: Philip Johnston and Bruno Waterfield
Summary: Police across the EU are to be given free access to Britain's DNA, fingerprint and car registration databases in a move denounced last night as the creation of "Big Brother Europe".
2007-02-06 - The Register - US preps vast DNA dragnet
Author: Thomas C Greene
Summary: In a move reminiscent of Nazi Germany and 21st-Century Britain, the US federal government is about to implement rules requiring routine DNA collection from suspected illegal immigrants and anyone arrested by federal authorities, regardless of whether they are ever convicted of a crime. DNA collection will be performed in any situation where fingerprints would normally be collected, and only a court order will suffice to have DNA profiles removed from federal databases.
2007-02-04 - Sunday Telegraph - Ministers plan 'Big Brother' police powers
Author: Patrick Hennessy and Ben Leapman
Summary: A swathe of controversial "Big Brother" style crime-fighting techniques are to be introduced by the Government under the cover of the 2012 London Olympics, a leaked memo has revealed. The document, drawn up by officials at the Home Office and sent to 10 Downing Street, paves the way for a much wider use of the police's DNA database to identify suspects through their relatives. ... It suggests that police will make much greater use of a technique known as "familial DNA" where a suspect whose details are not on the database can be traced through a family member whose details are already recorded. The memo states: "Records could be trawled more routinely to identify familial connections to crime scenes, providing a starting point to investigations through a family member that is on the database to a suspect that is not, for example."
2007-01-30 - Telegraph - More than 3m on DNA 'stealth' database
Author: John Steele
Summary: The Government was accused last night of creating a "surveillance society by stealth" after figures showed that police have put more than 3.3 million people on the national criminal DNA database. Home Office statistics, reflecting the size of the database on Oct 31 last year and released last week in Parliament, show that 3,327,000 people from a total of 49 million have had their genetic profiles logged by one of the 43 police forces.
2007-01-22 - Public Health Genetics Unit - EU Ministers to explore legislation for sharing DNA and fingerprint data
Author: Dr Susan Wallace
Summary: European Union (EU) Ministers from the 27 Member States have informally agreed unanimously to explore a plan that would enable the exchange of personal data, such as motor vehicle registration, DNA and fingerprint data, across national borders
2007-01-18 - eGov monitor - Home affairs ministers back initiative to create a pan-European network of police databases for more effective crime control
Summary: At the informal meeting of EU home affairs ministers in Dresden today, the Federal Minister of the Interior, Dr Wolfgang Schäuble, presented an initiative to transpose the Prüm Treaty into the legal framework of the EU by drafting EU legislation using the exact wording of the Prüm Treaty. ... "For example, under the treaty Austria and Germany have been able to check the contents of their national DNA databases against each other since early December 2006. This is the first time that two countries have granted each other access to their national police databases using a hit/no hit method. In just six weeks, when German untraceables were checked against the Austrian database, 1500 matches were found, and when Austrian untraceables were checked against the German database, 1400 matches resulted."
2007-01-13 - The Observer - Police across Europe to share DNA database
Author: David Rose
Summary: Police and security services in the European Union will share access to an unprecedented range of individuals' personal data under a radical package of measures to be discussed by EU justice ministers this week. It allows agencies in different countries to search one another's databases - DNA records, fingerprints, vehicle details - and other personal information. Even if someone has no criminal record and their DNA is not on a database, police can ask their foreign colleagues to collect a sample.


2006-12-27 - BBC - DNA database of suspects proposed
Summary: Proposals to allow the police to keep the DNA of all crime suspects, even if they are later proved innocent, have been announced by Labour leaders. Currently DNA samples taken when people are arrested in Scotland must be destroyed if the individual is not charged or convicted. However, samples and fingerprints are retained in England and Wales.
2006-12-27 - The Register - Forensics reaches into the future
Author: Chris Williams
Summary: How far should we let the DNA database go? Explaining the science behind the DNA database. Explaining the problems and fears as well. While everyone else seems permanently impressed with DNA forensics, the man who pioneered DNA fingerprinting has repeatedly voiced fears over the mission creep that has characterised the National DNA Database first decade. A series of law changes has seen the Home Office's power to take and retain profiles have fewer and fewer limits. In autumn, Alec Jeffreys told the BBC:" When the DNA database was initially established it was to database DNA from criminals such that if they re-offended they could be picked up. Hundreds of thousands of entirely innocent people now populate that database. My view is that that's discriminatory, that those people will be very skewed socioeconomically and ethnically so there's clear discrimination there." Thirty-seven per cent of all black men in the UK are on the database, compared to 10 per cent on white men.
2006-12-18 - The Register - Home Office bumps up innocents on DNA Database
Author: Chris Williams
Summary: Eight times figure previously announced. Less than two thirds of people whose profile is stored on the National DNA Database are there for having been cautioned or convicted of a criminal offence, Home Office figures have revealed. In response to a parliamentary question, John Reid last week ...
2006-12-17 - The Sunday Times - Reid ‘buries’ news that police hold DNA of 1m innocent people
Author: David Leppard
Summary: Police are holding the DNA records of more than 1m innocent people — eight times more than ministers have previously admitted. Official figures slipped out by the Home Office last week show that almost one in three of the 3.4m individuals whose details are kept on the database do not have a criminal record or a police caution. The government has now been accused of trying to bury “the bad news” among last week’s police announcements over the murders of five prostitutes in Ipswich
2006-12-17 - Metro - 1 million innocent people on DNA database
Summary: About one third of people whose DNA records are held on police files have not been found guilty of any crime. The figure is eight times higher than that previously released by ministers.
2006-12-12 - BBC - Baby DNA idea sparks new concerns
Summary: Civil liberties campaigners have expressed concerns over a senior policeman's idea that taking DNA from babies could help solve crimes.
2006-12-11 - The Sun - Murder cop: take babies' DNA
Author: Mike Sullivan
Summary: Britain's most senior murder investigator has called for DNA to be taken from babies. Commander Dave Johnston said it would build up a database to solve crimes and prevent others.
2006-12-07 - The Guardian - National DNA database
Summary: The profiles of more than 620,000 people have been stored on the national DNA database since January, junior Home Office minister Joan Ryan disclosed. She advised that between January 10 and November 30 2006, 698,649 profiles were loaded on the database. "It is estimated that this number of profiles relates to 621,798 individuals," she added
2006-12-02 - African Echo - Three in four young black men on the DNA database
Summary: Race watchdogs are to investigate the national DNA database over revelations that up to three quarters of young black men will soon have their profiles stored. Trevor Phillips, the chairman of the Commission for Racial Equality, vowed to examine whether the database breached race relations laws following the findings by The Sunday Telegraph. "This is tantamount to criminalising a generation of young black men," he said.
2006-12-01 - Independent - Growing DNA database 'turning Britain into a nation of suspects'
Author: Steve Connor
Summary: One in four men could soon be included on the national DNA database which is helping to turn Britain into a nation of suspects, an expert group has warned.
2006-11-29 - BBC - NI police DNA database trebles
Summary: Police in Northern Ireland hold DNA samples on 1,116 people who have not been convicted of, or charged with any offence, it has emerged. ... in Scotland, Germany, Austria or Finland, DNA was automatically destroyed if someone was not convicted of a recordable offence.
2006-11-16 - The Guardian - This Big Brotherly love is totally misplaced
Author: Simon Davies
Summary: Perhaps we should turn that question over to the police, more than half of whom refused to add themselves to the national DNA database, citing fears that the samples could be used for indiscriminate paternity checks.
2006-11-09 - The Guardian - Lib Dems tack left with civil liberties bill
Author: Tania Branigan
Summary: The Liberal Democrats would slash police and prosecutors' powers by restoring the right to silence, preventing the use of hearsay evidence in trials and removing the DNA of people arrested but not charged with crimes from databases, they will announce today.
2006-11-07 - Lynne Featherstone's Blog - DNA consultation - chance to have a say
Author: Lynne Featherstone MP
Summary: Nuffield Bioethis are running a consultation on use of DNA records etc. It's not an official government consultation, but one well worth taking part in anyway I think. See Nuffield Bioethic's website
2006-11-06 - The Times - Crime database 'is six months behind'
Author: Stewart Tendler
Summary: Trevor Phillips, the head of Britain’s race watchdog, is to investigate the high proportion of young black men on the national DNA database. More than a third of black males in England and Wales are on the database and there are fears that up to three quarters will soon have their profile stored. Home Office figures show that by April next year the database will hold 3.7 million files, including three million white-skinned Europeans and 257,099 Afro-Caribbeans. An estimated 135,000 black men aged 15-34 will be on the database by April, equivalent to 77 per cent of the young male black population of England and Wales. Mr Phillips said: “This is tantamount to criminalising a generation of young black men.”
2006-11-05 - The Sunday Times - Help! They know all about me
Author: John-Paul Flintoff
Summary: People who have been arrested do not choose, and are often coerced, into providing fingerprint and DNA samples that will be permanently logged on the national database even if they are released without charge. When Grant Shapps, a Tory MP, challenged this on behalf of a constituent whose son had been mistakenly identified, the police told him they were not authorised to remove the boy’s data. Sir Alec Jeffreys, a pioneer of DNA profiling, says hundreds of thousands of innocent people are populating that database. There is increasing evidence that the data is being used to carry out controversial genetic research without consent.
2006-11-05 - The Sunday Telegraph - Three in four young black men on the DNA database
Author: Ben Leapman
Summary: Race watchdogs are to investigate the national DNA database over revelations that up to three quarters of young black men will soon have their profiles stored. Trevor Phillips, the chairman of the Commission for Racial Equality (CRE), vowed to examine whether the database breached race relations laws following the findings by The Sunday Telegraph. "This is tantamount to criminalising a generation of young black men," he said.
2006-11-03 - The Times - We are all suspects now
Author: Ben Macintyre
Summary: As our DNA database expands to include innocent and guilty, remember the case of William West.
2006-11-02 - Belfast Telegraph - What is the DNA database, and why do we have so many people on it?
Author: Nigel Morris
Summary: Since its creation 11 years ago, ministers have taken great pride in the fact that this country leads the world in the creation of a national DNA database. But its rapid growth – it now contains genetic profiles of more than 3.6 million people, many of whom have never been convicted of an offence – is ringing alarm bells.
2006-11-02 - The Times - DNA pioneer accuses the police of being overzealous
Author: Stewart Tendler
Summary: The man who developed DNA testing in the 1980s has attacked the spread of data collection by police as "mission creep". Sir Alec Jeffreys said that the tool, which was meant to catch criminals who re-offend, has created a vast database of gene profiles of thousands of innocent citizens.
2006-11-02 - The Independent - The Big Question: What is the DNA database, and why do we have so many people on it?
Author: Nigel Morris
Summary: Since its creation 11 years ago, ministers have taken great pride in the fact that this country leads the world in the creation of a national DNA database. But its rapid growth - it now contains genetic profiles of more than 3.6 million people, many of whom have never been convicted of an offence - is ringing alarm bells.
2006-11-02 - Channel 4 News - Big Brother Britain
Author: Julian Rush
Summary: There are signs of mounting concern over the Government's apparent enthusiasm to capture every detail of our lives on countless databases.
2006-11-02 - The Register - National DNA Database: have your say
Author: Chris Williams
Summary: Wary of "mission creep" in the National DNA Database, the Nuffield Council on Bioethics has launched a year-long project investigating the government's push to fingerprint the DNA of every person in the UK.
2006-11-01 - BBC - DNA pioneer's civil rights fears
Summary: The UK's DNA database may have grown so far beyond what it was intended to do it risks undermining civil rights, one of its pioneers has told the BBC.
2006-11-01 - 24dash.com - 'Citizens or suspects' DNA database questioned
Author: Ian Morgan
Summary: Members of the public are being asked their views today on whether they want to be a nation of "citizens or suspects". A consultation has been launched by the Nuffield Council on Bioethics on whether laws allowing police to take, store and analyse DNA from suspects, witnesses and victims should be revised.
2006-11-01 - BBC - Public consulted over DNA fears
Summary: The public are to be asked whether the DNA database has expanded too much, amid concerns the innocent are discriminated against.
2006-11-01 - The Guardian - Public questioned over DNA database
Summary: Members of the public are to be asked their views on whether they want to be a nation of "citizens or suspects".
2006-10-31 - The Independent - Growing DNA database 'turning Britain into a nation of suspects'
Author: Steve Connor
Summary: One in four men could soon be included on the national DNA database which is helping to turn Britain into a nation of suspects, an expert group has warned.
2006-10-29 - The Guardian - Suspect nation
Author: Stuart Jeffries
Summary: The national DNA database is a detective's dream - and Tony Blair said this week he wants every Briton to be on it. But does it also infringe our civil liberties?
2006-10-28 - The Times - Full text of the interview with Richard Thomas
Author: Alice Miles and Helen Rumbelow
Summary: Interview with Richard Thomas, Britain's Information Commissioner ... "One concern which needs to be more debate about is the fact that virtually everybody now who is called in by the police has their DNA taken. And whether you’re found guilty or not at the end of the day, your DNA is retained. There are clear public benefits for that. There are also some anxieties. The proportion of young people who are in trouble with the police means there’s going to be a disproportionate number of young people on the DNA database and then ethnic minorities will be there to a disproportionate extent."
2006-10-24 - The Times - Blair endorses police use of public's DNA
Author: Greg Hurst
Summary: Tony Blair said yesterday that as many people as possible should have their DNA stored on a national database to aid the police in detecting crime. He said: “Politicians are more resistant (to the database) than the public. The public think, if this is helping us track down murderers, rapists . . . then go for it.”
2006-10-24 - The Telegraph - DNA database 'should include all'
Author: George Jones
Summary: Tony Blair called yesterday for the national DNA database to be expanded to include every citizen. He said there should be no limit on the development of the database because it was vital for catching serious criminals.
2006-10-23 - The Guardian - No limits on DNA database, says PM
Summary: Tony Blair has insisted there should be no limits on the expansion of the national DNA database, saying it was vital for catching serious criminals.
2006-10-23 - Downing Street Says - DNA Database
Summary: Asked whether the Prime Minister meant no limit when he said he wanted to see the maximum number of people on the DNA Database, the PMOS said yes, people who had done nothing had no reason to be afraid to be on it.
2006-10-11 - Lynne Featherstone's Blog - DNA records
Author: Lynne Featherstone MP
Summary: Went to New Scotland Yard to meet with Gary Pugh (in charge of forensics) about DNA. DNA is taken from people who are arrested, some of whom are then found innocent. Now here’s the thing – if you look at the DNA taken from innocent people, a far higher proportion of it comes from members of the ethnic minorities than their overall proportion in the population. And remember we’re talking about people found innocent here - so it looks as if there’s something very troubling going on.
2006-07-16 - The Observer - Police DNA database 'is spiralling out of control'
Author: Antony Barnett, investigations editor
Summary: The security of the police National DNA Database is in question following the disclosure of confidential emails which reveal that a private firm has secretly been keeping the genetic samples and personal details of hundreds of thousands of arrested people.
2006-06-08 - The Register - Home Office defends sharing DNA database
Author: Chris Williams
Summary: 519 requests for UK DNA data from abroad. Featherstone said yesterday: "What confidence can we have in the Government's reassurance of the DNA database having proper safeguards when, until last year, they didn't even collate requests properly?"
2006-06-06 - BBC - DNA database is shared overseas
Summary: Information from the UK's controversial DNA database is being given to foreign law agencies. 519 requests for details from the database since 2004. All of the requests were granted and the Liberal Democrats fear there are not enough checks on the system.
2006-06-06 - The Times - Challenge over keeping boy's DNA
Author: Frances Gibb, Legal Editor
Summary: The Government is facing a challenge over the practice of keeping the DNA profile and fingerprints of anyone who has been arrested for a recordable offence — whether they are charged, prosecuted or convicted — until that person dies. The challenge at the European Court of Human Rights is being brought by a teenager. Anna Fairclough, solicitor for Liberty, said: "This is an extremely important case. Virtually all offences, except the most trivial, are recordable, and current government policy is to retain this information until the individual dies or reaches 100 years old."
2006-05-25 - BBC - Holyrood debates new DNA powers
Summary: A shake-up of the regulations governing the DNA of suspected criminals has been debated by MSPs. It is proposed to allow police to keep DNA samples for three years in violent or sexual offence cases, whether a person is found guilty or not. Police could then seek court permission to retain them for a further two years.
2006-05-07 - The Independent - Surveillance society: The DNA files
Author: Marie Woolf and Sophie Goodchild
Summary: Police files hold the DNA of more than 50,000 children who have committed no offence. And that's only the tip of the iceberg - Britain now has the largest DNA database in the world.
2006-04-27 - The Register - Getting off the UK DNA database: ACPO explains how
Author: John Lettice
Summary: These days it's ever so easy to get onto the UK database, but how do you get off? It's just very, very hard and it's going to take you a long, long time. It may be occurring to you that one might easily die of old age while this process was under way. But don't you go thinking dying's going to get you off the database, sunshine, oh no.
2006-03-30 - The Register - Minister pledges no complete DNA database
Author: Chris Williams
Summary: The Home Office minister responsible for science has said the National DNA Database will never be extended to cover the whole population.
2006-03-24 - Telegraph - Teacher wins legal fight over police DNA record
Author: John Steele
Summary: A teacher who was arrested but not prosecuted after being accused of hitting a child twice with a ruler won a legal battle against police to have her fingerprints, DNA sample and photograph destroyed.
2006-02-16 - BBC - Under-18s DNA records to continue
Summary: Police can keep storing the DNA profiles of thousands of children and young people, ministers have decided.Tory MP Grant Shapps last month pressed for the details of 24,000 under-18s never cautioned, charged or convicted to be removed from the police database.He claimed a national DNA database was being created by stealth.
2006-01-31 - The Times - Street policy named bizarre
Author: Libby Purves
Summary: Freedom and privacy — which at a half-conscious level is what makes us so tolerant of lax street policing — is dwindling. Government keeps chipping away at it. CCTV watches us everywhere (though without actually reducing the muggings). We now know that 24,000 children never charged with a crime have their DNA kept on permanent record in case the police ever want it, without any decision by Parliament that we should all be on a DNA database, which would at least have been open and logical. We know — see November 29, this page — that the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency profitably sells our home addresses to small-time clampers with criminal records. We are threatened with compulsory identity cards bearing intrusive detail. Whenever the Government can spare the time from writing charters of pet pussy-cats’ rights, it thinks up another way to track, restrict or scold us. It reduces our dignity daily, generally in the name of “security”. Which might be OK if we felt secure. But we don’t.
2006-01-22 - The Times - Pressure grows to wipe DNA files on children
Author: Gareth Walsh
Summary: Ministers were coming under increasing pressure yesterday to erase the DNA records of 24,000 children and teenagers from a police database. The youngsters — aged between 10 and 18 — have never been cautioned, charged or convicted of any offence, and in some cases may simply have witnessed a crime.
2006-01-22 - The Sunday Times - Byte by byte, our identity is being stolen
Author: Minette Marrin
Summary: On Friday it emerged that 24,000 young people aged between 10 and 18 have their DNA profiles stored on a nationwide database, even though they have never been cautioned, charged or convicted of an offence. Their genetic identities have been stored by the state for absolutely no reason. This came out because a diligent MP took the trouble to find out for a constituent why a boy who was wrongly arrested in a case — please note — of mistaken identity, had his DNA profile taken and stored by the police.
2006-01-22 - The Observer - 24,000 youngsters on police DNA database
Author: Jamie Doward
Summary: DNA profiles of 24,000 juveniles who have never been cautioned, charged or convicted of an offence have been stored on a police database
2006-01-21 - BBC - Juveniles' DNA recording defended
Summary: The government has defended storing the DNA profiles of about 24,000 children and young people aged 10 to 18. The youngsters' details are held on the UK database, despite them never having been cautioned, charged or convicted of an offence
2006-01-09 - The Times - DNA of 750,000 juveniles stored
Author: Mark Henderson
Summary: The DNA profiles of more than 750,000 juveniles have been stored in the past ten years, the Government has said. Powers granted to the police by the Home Office in the past two years include the right to take DNA from people under 18 without permission from a parent or guardian. ... Critics of the database fear that the juveniles listed — many of whom have committed no crime — may be singled out as criminals later in life.
2006-01-05 - BBC - Call for inquiry into DNA samples
Summary: The government is being urged by a black police officers' group to examine why black people are over-represented on the UK DNA database.
2006-01-04 - BBC - DNA database continues to swell
Summary: The number of samples held on the DNA database will rise to 4.25 million within two years, the Home Office says. Suspects arrested over any imprisonable offence can have their DNA held even if they are acquitted.
2005-11-25 - The Times - EU could share ID databases
Author: Anthony Browne
Summary: Confidential personal information about British citizens could be shared with governments and police across Europe under proposals put forward by Brussels yesterday. ... It suggested the creation of a pan-European fingerprint database, a European DNA database, and registers of all EU citizens and of all EU travel documents, to which law enforcement agencies would be given access.


2005-07-27 - The Times - Evenin' all. Name, address, DNA sample ...
Author: Simon Davies
Summary: Recent legislation empowers police to take fingerprint and DNA samples on arrest, rather than upon charge. The data will remain indefinitely on police systems, even if the subject is acquitted. The Government’s view is that the law does not require police to use their full powers of arrest on every occasion. The police are empowered to use discretion. Thereby hangs the tail. The lottery facing any citizen is that unknown circumstances or prejudices may trigger a demand for fingerprinting and DNA. After all, some officers may rightly be indignant about motorists who unlawfully travel in a bus lane. They may view this offence as a heinous violation of trust that must be fully punished to support the common good. Other policemen may feel equally passionate about speeding, or perhaps unlawfully collecting firewood in a forest.
2005-04-12 - The Times - Doubts over DNA database
Summary: The England and Wales National DNA database (NDNAD) has revolutionised policing but could pose a serious threat to civil liberties, says New Scientist.


2004-08-08 - Guardian - Meet the DNA genius who fears the dark side of his discovery
Author: Robin McKie
Summary: Warning about the current and future privacy abuses of Government and Private sector DNA databases from the inventor of "Genetic Fingerprinting"
2004-08-08 - The Observer - Inventor warns over abuse of DNA data
Author: Robin McKie
Summary: New developments in the field have alarming implications for civil liberties, and could allow police to compile files containing highly personal data about a person's racial origins, medical history and psychological profile.
2004-07-09 - The Times - Innocent men forced to give DNA samples
Author: Richard Ford and Stewart Tendler
Summary: Innocent men have been forced to give DNA samples to police, in breach of Home Office guidance, as part of a criminal investigation. Five men were arrested and compelled to provide DNA after refusing voluntarily to give samples in the hunt for a serial rapist. The samples will now be stored permanently on the new national database of DNA taken from suspects who have been arrested. The move has raised concerns that it will be impossible for anyone to refuse to give DNA samples to police in the future.


2003-09-08 - The Sun - Cops' DNA database plan

Summary: Top cops will this week push for the DNA of everyone in Britain to be put on a new national database at birth.

Links to 33 articles on the DNA database by the bbc