Thursday, October 29, 2009

Government still breaching ECHR ruling

More than 90,000 innocent people have been added to the National DNA Database since the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) ruled that the practice was illegal, according to Liberal Democrat research.

The figures, contained in Parliamentary answers, show that:

· 433,752 DNA profiles have been added to the database since the ECHR ruling on 5 December last year – 1,480 per day;

· 5.5m profiles on the database relating to 4.8m people (13.3% are replicates);

· if we apply the Government’s 2008 estimate that 20.8% of people on the database are innocent to the current total, there are now more than 1m innocent people whose DNA is currently held, including 90,220 since the ruling;

· only 611 profiles have been removed from the database over that period.

Commenting, Liberal Democrat Shadow Cabinet Office Minister, Jenny Willott said:

“It is appalling that the Government has allowed over a million innocent people to be added to the DNA database.

“Despite the European ruling that the practice is a breach of human rights, for every innocent DNA profile removed from the database, around 150 new ones are added.

“The Government’s attempt to store innocent people’s DNA for up to 12 years has been categorically slated by experts, forcing it into an embarrassing climb-down in Parliament.

“The Home Office needs to put an end to this scandal by removing all innocent people from the database once and for all.”

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