I’m a bit of a packrat, I’m absolutely loathe to throw anything away, ‘just in case’. Fortunately my good Lady is rather more sensible about such things and insists on regular clear outs periodically, I think she uses access to the shed as a measuring stick, along with the ability to put clothing in the wardrobe. Normally she’s spot on, we have been caught out only a couple of times, usually within a week of the surplus to requirements article having been disposed of, or in the case of old clothing, mysteriously vanished. Still, what I wont do is hoard away stuff that isn’t mine, that’s what your own loft/shed/cupboards/spare rooms are for.
Almost 165,000 innocent people are estimated to have been added to the police DNA database in the past three years.
Despite Coalition promises to wipe the records of those not guilty of crimes, a report suggests that this has so far not happened in the majority of cases.
Between 2009 and 2011, the figures show that 986,767 people were added to the DNA database in total, according to a survey of police forces.
This includes the profiles of the convicted and those who were arrested but were later cleared or never charged with a crime in the first place.
Worryingly, the majority of the 51 forces surveyed across the UK were unwilling or unable to say how many of the profiles belonged to innocent people.
But overall one in six profiles on the police DNA database is estimated to belong to an innocent person.
If this percentage applies to the latest figures, it would mean almost 165,000 people added between 2009 and 2011 were innocent.
Ok, first off despite the Mail hysterics and extrapolation based on ‘best guestimates’ there is a problem here, the police are not supposed to have the DNA of anyone who isn’t convicted or under investigation. Sadly we all know just how reluctant they are to part with this information, their excuse being the same as the packrat, ‘just in case’. They usually trot out various excuses to justify it too, pointing out the occasional success when DNA has been harvested leading to investigations in other areas. Whilst ignoring the cases where a contaminated sample has been used in conjunction with their database to hound an innocent in lieu of proper investigatory work. Said innocents DNA no doubt being added to the database as well for future reference.
There’s even the argument of ‘nothing to hide, nothing to fear’. Sadly the number of bungled cases and miscarriages that get into the headlines tells us that we possibly do have something to fear getting mixed up in a police investigation, occasionally with a ‘just in case’ harvest to eliminate you from enquiries.
Yet, it isn’t theirs to keep, it’s ours, particularly if we have done nothing wrong. It’s the equivalent of borrowing the neighbours lawnmower when they don’t have a use for it and not handing it back just in case the grass grows. Yes, there may come a time when you have a use for it, but it isn’t yours and you shouldn’t be keeping it without permission.
Sadly though, this is happening all over the UK despite the claims of the government that they intended to stop this activity. Seem our police believe that our property is theirs to keep once they have it.