Page last updated at 16:15 GMT, Thursday, 7 May 2009 17:15 UK

Should the DNA database be trimmed?

Up to 850,000 DNA profiles will be deleted from the national database after the European Court of Human Rights ruled innocent people must be removed. Do you agree with this decision?

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Your comments:

To those who agree with the existence and furtherance of the database, I say you do not understand the meaning of A) Freedom, B) Born a Free Man/Woman, C) Self direction/Autonomy. Go look 'em up and learn what you are letting yourselves in for, and worse... giving up.
Josephine, United Kingdom

"What's the problem? If you've got nothing to hide and don't intend to commit a crime why not have your DNA stored" Isn't that the stupidest thing you ever heard? If I have nothing to hide then why have my details at all? You are assuming that all this information will always be handled with care and respect. People wanting to set you up for a crime would now have copies of your DNA, computer criminals and random people administrating your records will have access to not only your personal data but your biological data. Think of it this way, there are potential criminals on both ends of everything not just on the obvious end. I want to leave at little of me out there for manipulation as possible. Having a means to find criminals doesn't deter crime, it only encourages better planning of crime.
Anon, Glasgow

If you are an innocent person where is the harm in having your DNA on the database. I would gladly have my DNA on the database. If I was injured and unable to give my details the police could find my loved ones and inform them of where I am. I honestly believe it can be a good use of information.
Gary Randall, Byfleet Surrey

If one murderer is convicted as a result of current DNA policy, then the rights of a few 'unconvicted criminals' should not be used as a reason to stop DNA retention. Guy Hubbard, Leicester
What about the rights of the innocent? Would you be prepared to have a criminal conviction, go to jail for however long you get for something you have not done, loose your livelihood and possibly your family to ensure that one murderer is caught then? Thought not. Suppose the only DNA evidence is one of your hairs that is at the scene by accident, you don't have anyone or anything to support your alibi of being somewhere else. Your DNA is on the database because you were questioned under caution for a crime previously that you were innocent of and not charged with. Still agree with this - don't think it can't happen.
Rob, London, England.

Corruption exists within the police forces as it does in society. Sometimes it is filtered down via corrupt security service staff or via acting on poor/false intelligence. Damian Green experienced something similar when his property and office was searched without a warrant.
Sam Cooke, Kent

The problem we have is that this Labour government are trying to introduce too much at once. Yes a DNA database may be a good idea but right now when people already feel overly spied on, with internet and phone usage being monitored. CCTV watching them on the high street its too much in one go. The ID cards were a good idea but too costly and remind people a little bit too much of soviet Russia and the need to carry "papers" in case you were detained for any random reason. We already have the police doing ridiculous things like detaining people who take a photo of a bus! Reform the police first, bring back the minimum height, health and education levels then work on other legislation. No point having all this data available when the average police man/woman is unable to act in an intelligent manner to enforce the laws.
Philip D'ambrogio, Warrington

Would love to see the crime figures where DNA was recovered from the scene but no match is found.. How many crimes would be solved if EVERYONE had to have their DNA on a database? Trouble is, would you trust the government, be it Labour, Tory, Lib Dem or whatever, to keep the data secure?
Doug Brown, Edinburgh

I am of the thinking that everyone should have their DNA registered from birth. If you've got nothing to hide what's the harm in it!? Think how it would overhaul how criminals are found...we'd no longer have to search , the information would already be there on file!
Sarah, Halifax

If innocent, no one's DNA should be kept and it should be destroyed immediately. Respect everyone's Human Rights!
elfgiva, Nottingham

I agreed with my DNA being held as I intend to live my life lawfully. I also do not believe in being paranoid - there are enough records and details on our lives available to Government and non-government organisations to allow many people to know a lot about our lives (e.g. the aforementioned loyalty cards, online surveys, etc). Anyway, it is not about 'this government' - what people forget is that things like data storage and data gathered through things like surveys are mentioned continuously, despite what party is in power. Plus, if someone wants to e.g. frame us for a crime, there are many ways of doing this already. Our information is already out there.
Anon Bunny, London

The failure of MP's to properly fix this problem is a clear indication that they don't represent the British people. They think they have been elected to control the British public. The issue is simple. DNA should only be retained for convicted criminals. Quite frankly this administration so often lies or misrepresents the facts I do not believe a single one of their statistics about potential crimes solved.
Charles Smith, London UK

The DNA database has solved more crimes than any recent science, the only people who fear it are criminals!!
Geoff, Lyndhurst UK

Why can't everyone's DNA profile be on record? Linked to the ID Card that Goredoom wants us to carry. And it must be a requirement for entry and for visa issue.
Richard Downing, Keswick, UK

Absolutely the database should be trimmed. As a youth I was once wrongly arrested and never convicted, yet my DNA was taken 'as a precaution.' The police are there to protect the public from crime, but is keeping the DNA of perfectly innocent everyday people really protecting anybody? Where does it stop, will we be taking DNA samples of newborn children next... as a precaution of course! It's just one step away from assuming everybody is guilty until proven innocent and another means to keep utterly unnecessary checks on people.
S. P. Woolley, Sheffield

To Dale Hicks who says "what harm". I would say read 1984 by George Orwell then you will see what harm the authoritarian state can be. Everything is ok until you stand out of the crowd for some reason. Then you receive a visit in the middle of the night.
Steve Pringle, Newton Abbot

No, everyone should be on the DNA database - if you don't do anything wrong, then you have nothing to worry about.
Tom, Hartlepool

DNA is used by the police to avoid the need for any further evidence. While I think the police do a good job generally, the potential to "mix-up" my DNA with someone else, either human or computer error, and be convicted by this is too much to accept. Scrap the database & there is no chance of this.
Dave Derrick, Bristol, UK

Peter from NI has come up with a simple idea to avoid planting innocent peoples: Dispose of the DNA specimen (so no claims of "planted" evidence), but keep the profile for later comparisons. Resampling and retesting can confirm any database hits. I say: have everyone on DNA database on this basis.
Eddie, Leicester

Get everybody on the database then we might have a cleaner place if people don't like the idea go and live in another country.
Andrew, Sheffield

Data should not be held on people not convicted of criminal activity. Despite what many believe, DNA retention is not the holy grail of forensics; all it takes at a crime scene is a bunch of hair/skin/blood samples spread liberally around, and then forensics are looking for a needle in a haystack again.
Rich James, Bristol

DNA sampling is in danger of making itself ineffective if it isn't used by those with brains. Imagine if everyone's DNA was on file. Whenever a criminal wanted to do a crime, simply go to any public place and collect lots of different hair etc samples and leave them at the scene of crime. The police will have to investigate them all at how much expense? Also, who is to say the criminals sample got there any other way than the other samples? Also, how long of having 99% of DNA samples leading to the wrong people until the police and courts start to ignore it?
Atomtrasher, Lowestoft

To all those who say that those with nothing to hide have nothing to fear consider the facts. The European court of human rights ruled the government was breaking the law by the way in which DNA was collected, recorded and used. The govt. has also been found to be breaking the law in the types of data it collects and holds on file for undisclosed purposes and periods. The government has also proven to be inept in ensuring and guaranteeing data security. It seems to me that this government has a lot to hide and fear yet turns this around in the name of national security.
Lee, Manchester

If your innocent your DNA is your IP. If not yours it is definitely your parents. It is an infringement of your / their rights for it to be stored on a computer for even a minute once you have been proven to be innocent. One case in court making a large claim against the government and police would sort this out. But then the Big Brother Police State and Red Party Government of this country will try their hardest to convince you otherwise.
The Old Doctor, A Once English Town

I agree with the Professor. This country is the most policed one way or another of anywhere in the world. CCTV hasn't reduced the crime rate. There are instances of neighbour 'shopping' neighbour, with authority approval (and encouragement). The proliferation of speed cameras haven't reduced the road deaths because it has been proved over and over that (except in a very few cases) speed is not the culprit. Life in the UK under this Government smacks of the 'old' Soviet bloc.
Karen, West Yorkshire, UK

Hear the mandarins squeal, part of their powerbase is being eroded. They may know what DNA is but they know having a database is power. Power equals importance! Destruction of power is evil! Why 6 to 12 years? Am I, a law abiding person, even under this government, gong to suddenly commit crime for the first time within 6 to 12 years of having part of my body seized and detained by the state's militia? This is the type of balderdash we have become used to from this power hungry mob, but this is beyond! Guido we need you!
Confusus Theytry, South Wales

No, I think the DNA data base should be enlarged and have every ones on it, innocent or otherwise
Mrs Sarah Dunbavand, Long Eaton, Derbyshire

I don't really see what the fuss is about here. People seem to be coming at this from two different sides - either the 'nothing to hide nothing to fear camp' or the 'outrageous invasion of privacy' camp. There are a lot of shades of grey that are being ignored in the argument, which requires you to balance the legal rights of the individual with the obvious benefits a DNA database has (not all police officers or politicians are trying to set you up - as some paranoid people seem to be suggesting). There are obvious flaws and difficulties with the idea but surely giving the police another tool to assist in their investigations is a good thing. I seriously doubt that the police are considering it as a replacement for all other avenues of investigation. Also on a side note, where people are concerned about their private data (DNA) not being seen, perhaps they should be a little more careful about leaving it absolutely everywhere they go?
Simon, London, UK

"Does it matter if big brother is watching? NO! not if you are being a model citizen." Dale Hicks, Gt Bentley, England
How naive can you get? How long before the establishment thinks you're not a model citizen if you don't vote Labour, or reject a socialist world view, or whatever whim they decide? It's all about their control over us. They couldn't care less about your ideas of what a 'model' you are, your standards won't count. If you think Big Brother is great, go live in N. Korea or Cuba.
Peter, Cambridge, UK

Do you trust Government to hold precious data of this nature? Do you trust that this Government or any future government will never use this information inappropriately? If you do, history is not on your side. There is no reason whatsoever to hold an innocent person's DNA data.
Big Caper, London

"Half of those who reoffend after arrest do so within six years, and two-thirds within 12."
"reoffend?" Are we to understand that everybody who is arrested has offended in the first place? If this is the case, why do we bother wasting all that money on judges and juries? Why don't we just lock everybody up now, and be done with it? I'm sure that the 'officials' would then be happy that 100% of criminals are in prison, and would warn that anything less would reduce the number of crimes solved.
Steve Sutton, St. Albans, UK

I believe that everyone's DNA should be on the system, only people who have something to hide should be worried as this means they could be more easily tracked down. If any relative of mine was a victim of crime I would want the perpetrator found quickly, and I think many other people would feel the same.
Pete, Wolverhampton

Everybody in the UK should have their DNA should be on this database. You're only innocent until proven guilty. Keeping DNA on file helps us convict the guilty and protect the innocent. Anyone worried about having their DNA on file probably has something to hide!
Sid, Worksop, UK

No it should not, this country is getting more and more like a police state where you are guilty till proven innocent, and even after being proven innocent you are treated like a criminal or terrorist, that can never be justified, if you have committed no crime then it should be removed the same day the same for blood taken and finger prints, not kept just in case you commit a crime in the future, next thing you know we will end up with rfid tags in our necks or bar codes on our arms, that's how things got started in another European country 65 years ago, and look what happened there!
Terry Donovan, London

I wouldn't trust this unless Government with anything. As far as taking everybody's DNA at birth who's to say the data won't be sold on, in the not to distant future we will be able to tell if you are prone to certain illnesses or your life expectance etc and this information in-turn could be sold onto big business. Sorry, you are fully qualified but you haven't got the job because according to our records your family if prone to heart problems or you have a 25% above average risk of cancer. As for the Police, the trouble with the Police these day's is they really far too much on technology to do the job for them instead of good old fashion police work. Round um up in bulk and hope you have caught a live one and let the rest go after taking there finger prints, DNA etc. Guilt by default is wrong.
Nigel, West Midlands

"Every single person should be kept on the DNA database from birth"
Ok, this is far and away the dumbest and most ill-thought out comment I've read today. Congratulations!
King Prawn, Plymouth

Why all the fuss? If you've got nothing to hide then why should it bother you who holds your DNA and for how long?
Nick, Hucknall, Nottingham

I don't think anyone should be trimmed from the database. I would be perfectly happy to be on it myself. Suppose DNA was recovered from the children stolen from Heathrow, and it couldn't be identified because the paedophile ring was 'above ' being recorded. If everyone is on it, then people can't hide behind their rank and authority and we can start nailing the real criminals in society. If you just have a CRB check, it only means you haven't been caught, or charged. If your DNA is on the body of someone killed or abused, you have to face up to your own vile behaviour. Otherwise, if you haven't done anything wrong, you have nothing to fear.
Ruth Hunt, Birmingham UK

I was arrested, along with a friend, several years ago. My friend had committed minor criminal damage after a night out, which was captured on CCTV and a police van took us both to spend a night in the local police station because we were wearing similar clothing and it was difficult to tell who had committed the crime. The next day, after both giving statements (and eating a rather nice microwaved English Breakfast meal - I'm always one to see a silver lining!), he was given a caution, I was released without charge. But both of our DNA has been kept on file. So as someone who this ruling directly affects, who at the time was annoyed at the injustice that I was on the police database having done nothing wrong, I can honestly say that several years later it has had absolutely no negative impact on my life. I've not been denied anything, I've not been stalked by suspicious police, my life is just the same and I haven't really thought about it since. Therefore I don't care if my DNA stays on the database for 6 years or a lifetime!
Rob, Cambridge

DNA should not be held for the innocent and any claim to the contrary makes a mockery of a free democratic justice system. It didn't take the police 12 years to put the info on so why 12 years to remove it? We have a justice system based on innocent until proven guilty and we are in serious danger of making a mockery of that. This is yet another disgrace from an already disgraceful government.
Atomtrasher, Lowestoft

There is more control here than there was in Stalin's Russia! Unfortunately, the population of this country have no choice about DNA registers, video surveillance or being watched for which bin they put their rubbish in. Welcome to the totalitarian society of Britain. The argument that all this monitoring reduces crime and terrorism is utter, utter rubbish. Surveillance camera film has become an entertainment medium on mainstream TV and there is no shortage of it. DNA records will NEVER be wiped away. Somewhere, someplace it will surely be stored and, as for the argument about if you've nothing to hide etc etc etc, well those people have no recollection of a FREE UK, with freedom of liberties and freedom of speech. How sad the new young generations who have grown up under the control blanket are.
Ian Wickison, Peterborough Cambs

Having only the details of convicted criminals on the database is pointless, yes it may help identify them if they offend again, but what about all those who never get caught? At least knowing full well that you WILL be identified may discourage the criminal act in the first place. Take everyone's DNA, digitised it and hash the result, you can't reverse a hash and they are unique so nobody will be able to 'see' your DNA profile, but the police will be able to compare your hash against the hash of the DNA found at the scene of a crime. Nobody has visibility of the original data so nobody has their privacy breached. I don't see what all the fuss is about, we aren't talking about storing physical samples to enable future cloning, just a digital representation, a scrambled photograph if you will, and the last time i looked you can't clone someone from a photo.
Toby, Chester, UK

No. DNA profiles are advancement. If you are innocent you have nothing to worry about, so what is the problem? Some sex offenders have been captured only because of DNA evidence - what if they were 'innocent', in that not caught before, their profiles would not be accessible. And what about innocent people convicted of crimes they did not commit, only to be released years later due to DNA profiling. I think we need to look at the bigger picture.
P Burk, Coventry

Brilliant! Yesterday they are trying to get everyone to give their finger prints and pay £30 to do so, and now they are deleting DNA files - make your minds up!! However, I do agree with this move.
Cat Burke, Waltham Abbey, UK

It all depends on whether you think which is more important; the principle of 'innocent until proven guilty' or the opportunity for convictions.
David, London

It's very simple. No-one has any right to hold any information on you involuntarily, even if there are practical benefits in doing so. If you could somehow survive entirely independently then the state wouldn't even have a right to know that you exist.
Simon, Stockport

Just because someone hasn't been prosecuted or convicted doesn't in actual fact mean that they are innocent, just that the CPS, in their infinite wisdom, decided they would not pursue the case. I know that there is a rapist out there whose DNA has been taken and I hope that DNA stands on record so that if he does it again there is a chance he's caught. Otherwise, what was the point of turning my own life upside down, almost killing myself in the process, if there is no chance in the future that justice might finally be done?
Emily, London, UK

There is a determined and unstoppable effort by the powers that be to get us ALL on to the DNA database, its at 4.5M already. They won't destroy any data, they will just say they have. Who is going to prove otherwise?
Danny Streather, Romsey UK

I have nothing to hide, why should I be afraid of a DNA database? As long as good safeguards are put in place for the use of the information stored it can only help reduce crime, particularly sexual offences. The same goes for ID cards, no one likes the idea of "Big Brother" watching over us all but it's a small price to pay for added security. While we're at it, why not do away with cash transactions, electronic money is traceable and could eliminate tax and other types of fraud.
Graham, Mevagissey, Cornwall

Having your details on a DNA database does not make you guilty... committing a crime does. I really don't accept that there is a direct association between DNA database and guilt. Why are some people intent on creating an issue out of this? I have no problem with the authorities holding my DNA or fingerprints, I haven't done anything wrong and if I do, I deserve to be caught and tried.
Vikki Reeves, Belfast, NI

The main issue that people seem to be missing is not what the government say they will be doing with the DNA database, but what they (or a future government, or local council, or whoever might be granted access in the future) might do with it. Would anyone like to see DNA records being used in order to police whether or not a particular household is recycling enough? And given the number of high-profile security breaches recently, what could an unscrupulous person who manages to get hold of DNA records do?
Tom, London

"Removed"? It may have been "removed", but does anyone really think that data has been destroyed!?? The data will have been "removed" to another Hard Drive and will be available for use whenever required. Wake up!
Marshal Jim Duncan, Dundee

I have nothing to hide so they can keep my DNA for as long as they want. Only the guilty have anything to worry about!
Wilcocks, Devon

The people of Britain need to wake up, we are so close to being fully controlled by this government, we are walking towards totalitarian slavery under the hands of a dictatorship if we allow them to control our DNA we are basically giving them the key to our souls. Please think about this , once they have your DNA they have control over you in every way right down to the very cell.
Paul Adam, Glasgow

I'd really like those who demand that the DNA database be trimmed or stopped altogether to tell us exactly how many murderers and rapists, as well as lesser criminals, would be walking the streets under their proposals. I can think of a couple of serial rapists and murderers off the top of my head who were only caught because of the DNA database, some of them decades after their original crimes.
Graham, Sheffield

I'm pleased to see the freedom to place comments on this message board, but there is much ill informed comment on this topic. As somebody who was falsely accused of a serious crime I am unhappy that my DNA is still held on the database. No need to fear if you have nothing to hide? Well I can assure you that it doesn't feel like that once you've experienced the system throwing its weight at you. I don't want to sound too condescending but my response to those who hold these views is "you poor fools, I only hope you don't find out the hard way." We have only just started down this pathway and are having a discussion about the correct use of this database. We have no idea of the mischief and havoc which will be caused by the misuse of this database. By the time we do, it may be too late.
Andrew Barker, Llanwrda

Does the ECHR decision also include the finger print database? I was arrested for something I had nothing to do with, and after my interview and the police agreeing I was no involved, they took both my finger prints and DNA. I asked if I had to give them and they said I did because I had been arrested, and if I didn't comply they would be taken "by force". Will my fingerprints be removed along with my DNA in 6 years?
Tim, London

For all the people that advocate a universal database because it will "solve all the crimes"-you are clearly thinking of ends only, and means that not only disregard the basic "free will" which humans possess in such wonderful abundance, but also contradicting simple human freedoms, who wants their existence-their intrinsic existence-simply as numbers on a database. Given this government's reputation with handling personal data, I vehemently disapprove of any such universal database.
C Watson, Boston

Scotland have studied reoffending and found that the fast majority reoffend within 3 years, and so only keep the data that long. Can anyone trust what a government may do with the data in 12 year time? What government will we have? Will assumptions be made because your data is on the record, will you not be able to get insurance, jobs, etc, etc? No one knows who the information will be available to over that length of time.
John Fielder, Workington

If someone is innocent, why should they be concerned their DNA is on a database?
Carol Watson, Ipswich Suffolk

This is a total outrage! Harmonise the rules with Scotland and comply with the letter and the spirit of the EU ruling immediately. Jacqui Smith needs to be removed from office along with the despicable control-freaks in the Home Office and ACPO that have come up with this latest nonsense. The inevitable result if this goes on the statute books will be the issue being forced back into the EU courts and thrown out again. As for the nut on 5-Live who thinks we should mass screen the entire population, how long does he think it would take for the data to find its way into the hands of commercial outfits like credit-rating agencies who seem to think they have the right to derive and sell dubious inferences from various non-validated sources already? We only have the authorities word that data will actually be destroyed. After this attempted circumvention of a court ruling I no longer trust any of them, especially our politicised police.
E Nuff, York

It's not just innocent/guilty people who have been charged and taken to court but those who were simply taken in for questioning! Their details are held when no crime has been committed and they've not been charged. That is criminal.
Emma, Surrey

Okay - so these records are deleted from the database but any IT based organisation worth its salt will back up their data on a regular basis and keep snapshots of data in perpetuity. Will they go back and delete this data from all their backups? I doubt it and if push came to shove they would have no qualms about recovering it. ie this is an pointless exercise.
Paul, Romsey

Personally I've nothing against people who are arrested being checked against outstanding crime profiles, but if there is not a match then that DNA profile should be erased if they are not convicted. To those who forward the argument that you've nothing to fear with your DNA being kept on a database I would suggest that one day the people on the database might find themselves turned down for jobs or medical insurance simply because their DNA has been leaked or lost. If your bank account or credit card details get leaked then at least you can change those, you can't change your DNA!
Andy, Manchester

Pretty soon the fact that a sample has been taken will be regarded as "evidence" of a potential for wrong doing.
Peter, Bucks

Should be compulsory and we should all be on it. Having your data stored is not an indication of guilt as some are trying to suggest. My driving licence details are centrally held but that doesn't mean I steal cars! Get a grip people.
Paul, Pontypool, Wales

DNA database for everyone. Why not? If you don't do anything wrong who cares if the government has fingerprint or dental records as well. Unless of course you are worried about some wild 'conspiracy theory'.
Mike, Ampthill

No, DNA should remain on record. Innocent people have little to fear. The benefits far out weighing the risk. The DNA data base has proved significant in bringing to justice guilty parties who would otherwise remain at large, sometimes many years after the event.
Mr RA Benson, Leeds

This is another one where the lefties want to ensure that criminals have as easy a life as possible, and that the odds are stacked against the police. No innocent person has anything at all to fear from their DNA being stored along with that of past or current offenders and suspects. DNA should be taken from every child at birth and everyone entering the country to ensure that criminals are brought to book and the rest of us are safer.
Marty, Wakefield

Even if the government's unlikely-sounding estimates are correct (and they have provided no explanation of where they came from) this will lead to a 0.6% risk over the average lifetime of becoming the victim of a crime which could have been prevented by a more extensive DNA database. Personally, I am prepared to take that risk for the sake of saving the principle that I am innocent until proven guilty (rather than guilty even if proven innocent, as the government would like to have it)
Dan, Brighton

"As a serving police officer, I have to agree that a great many people who are in reality "guilty" are not found guilty in court due to evidence rules, blind luck or lack of evidence. Fair enough, that's how the system works, we have to live with it, but having the DNA of these people will very frequently lead to them being caught later. The benefits of the system far outweigh the disadvantages. Most criminals commit more than one crime, they will come again.OldDog, UK"
Sounds like lazy policing to me. "Dont worry lads, we will get him when he murders again!!!"
Barrie Mason, Guildford

Isn't this precisely the sort of issue that should be decided by The People - in a referendum - rather than by self-serving, power-crazed politicians?

Knowing your DNA record is held on a database is, surely, a major deterent to anyone considering committing a crime.
David, Aylesbury

I am appalled that any court or governing body should want to delete any DNA profiles? No honest law-abiding citizen should complain? I do not.
Martin Duffus, Fareham Hampshire

If you have nothing to hide, then you should not have anything to fear over your DNA being kept on record. Everyone should be done at birth and then this would help to solve crimes faster thus saving monies for every tax payer !
Sarah Bloor, Ashbourne, Derbyshire

I'm not sure what the opposition argument actually is against the database! What harm is it doing? Bad people were innocent once! So what if our finger prints or DNA is held on a database, it may help one day. What about human rights of victims of crime? Innocent people should have nothing to worry about having DNA on file. I know I'd be happy to.
Linda Arkley, Applecross

I can't believe the amount of people who are happy to have their DNA stored by a government that they don't really trust to begin with, where will it end with the DNA. I'm serious our government will start using your DNA to manipulate you, they could create a genetic disease specific to each and every one of us , and then provide a cure to which we have to pay , everyone should be against this, genetic identity theft will happen, I can guarantee the government will secretly clone you using your DNA and use the clones as expendable soldiers. How would you feel if you had been cloned and the government had used you! your DNA is the very fabric of your existence, your memories and everything could be contained within your DNA its a giant book of your life are you willing to hand it over to the government who cant even run the country , NO. Stop it now
Paul Adam, Glasgow

Civil liberties vs lives destroyed by criminals through violence, rape, fraud. We can always work on making our civil liberties better. We can't give people their lives or dreams back. If I can prevent just one person from being raped or murdered... where do I sign up?
Sandra, Glos

If everyone was on a DNA database, then consider this. You go to the post office, buy some milk, stamps, whatever. Later that day it is robbed at gun point. The police gather all the DNA in the shop and match it against the database. Your DNA is a match and you get questioned by the police, maybe even charged since you were in the shop and have no alibi for the time of the robbery. DNA won't solve this crime as any lawyer will argue that the defendant was present as an ordinary member of the public. If anything, a DNA database will make life harder for the police as the number of suspects increases - we leave our DNA everywhere we go, every time we sneeze, every time touch something.
Dave, Fareham

I think the main problem is that most people do not understand what information is kept on the DNA database - there are certain regions of DNA which do not code for any genes - they are known as 'junk' DNA. Within these regions, the bases which make up DNA are repeated varying numbers of times, so the only information that is kept is a series of numbers, e.g. you may be down as being 7 repeats at position 1, 4 repeats at position 2 etc. They cannot clone you with this data, nor can they determine any diseases you may get in the future. Also, a match on the DNA database only means the police will speak to you about why your DNA may have been found - if you have done nothing, the only thing you have to fear is crimes committed by people who are not yet on the database.
Nicola Harris, Newcastle upon Tyne

How about this one? DNA found at crime scene, before results back man arrested they then compare his DNA to that at scene and find no match. It can also clear the innocent so why the objection (yes mine is on record)
Akiel, Luton

To those who say they don't mind, imagine using a public toilet then six months later the Police knock on your door because a crime has been committed in that toilet you used and your DNA has been found, now they ask what you were doing there etc, you cant remember it was 6 months ago, you are arrested because DNA does not lie and no other DNA was found because the real villains know not to leave it.
Jake, London

Consider the following imagined scenario : I am arrested and a DNA sample is taken. Subsequently I am released and someone else is convicted of the offence I was arrested for. Why should the police need to keep my DNA profile? You can't suggest "I might have done it" as someone else has been convicted. And surely I am not more likely to commit a crime in the future because I look a bit like the person who really did it?
Rod Pudney, Nounsley

In the eyes of the police there is no such thing as an "innocent man". He is just someone that the courts failed to convict.
Colin, Liverpool

No criminal record, a member of a professional body, arrested AT WORK for something I never did, held in a cell for 4 hours whilst my home was searched, released without charge. Should my DNA be kept on record for ever? No. You may feel different if you had had the trauma of being wrongly accused when completely innocent.
Kevin, Birmingham

I think people are afraid of their DNA being planted at the scene of a crime. If not by police, then by criminals who pick up this data from various laptops lying around in car parks and the like.
Terry, London

I haven't enough information: I want to know how many of the 'cold cases' results came from those not charged or convicted. THAT is the percentage that could prove it worth keeping them on there.
Susan, Wokingham

I do not agree with the decision to delete the profiles from the national database. If your are a law abiding citizen why would you mind? If a member of my family was murdered I would like to think we have a database of profiles that may help catch the person responsible.
Eloise Owens, Nottingham,

Either profile everyone, or profile only those found guilty before a criminal court. But the profile-on-suspicion solution we currently have is unacceptable, leaving a taint of criminality upon those who are otherwise cleared.

I cannot understand why people are worried that their DNA profile is stored somewhere. Surely if you have committed no crime and do not intend to in the future then you've nothing to worry about.

All this stuff about a big brother state I just don't understand. Anything that enables the police to quickly catch or eliminate people from their enquiries should be welcomed, not worried about.
Antony, Nottingham

I fall firmly on the side of retention of the sample. As many have said if you have nothing to hide then you have nothing to fear from your DNA being held, securely I might add, on the database. English law permits the obtaining of a sample when a person is detained for an arrestable offence making the retention of the sample lawful. Why should we change our law because a bunch of Euro Lawyers don't have the kahunas to agree what we do is actually proportionate and helps in the fight against crime.
Pete, Eastbourne

Am I the only person who thinks that this is completely rediculous? Why can't the police keep DNA records for as long as possible? Further more, why not introduce this for every man, woman and child in the UK. That way, if a crime is committed then it can be solved much quicker, with innocent parties elliminated with ease. Why would anyone object to this unless they have something to hide?

This is not about us turning into George Orwells 1984, this is about making Britain safer, and in my view you can have my DNA tomorrow if requested. I hope that the majority of the public agrees with me.
Andy Douglas, St.Albans, Herts

No. The current DNA database should not be trimmed but extended, to cover the whole population. Surely that way crimes would be more easily solved. Only those people who have committed or intend committing crime can surely object to the formation of a database to cover the whole population.
Graeme Muir, Livingston, Scotland

No, I think the database should be made mandatory, and that everyone should be on there. Criminals have it far too easy as it is. The police are fighting a loosing battle so we as citizens we should be helping them by ensuring they have any means possible to tackle crime. If you don't do anything wrong then you have nothing to fear by being on the database!
Aaron Brett, Bexhill East Sussex

I Agree every one from birth on the register. Why not, it will help catch criminal and be a deterrent. What is there to hide or fuss over. I guess it is only because of people who think, 'well if I do commit a crime in the future I don't want to get caught'.
Nath, Reading

A properly run DNA database can be used to exclude potential subjects as well as to incriminate them. Some people have their DNA taken and are not found to be guilty of a crime. This doesn't mean that they will never ever commit a crime, where DNA evidence could be used. As long as the DNA database is in good hands, it would be better to have DNA from as many individuals as possible.
Jonathan, Romford, Essex

In reply to Dale Hicks, "where's the harm?" If you're DNA is found at the scene of a crime, even if you were not involved in that crime, would you like being hauled in by the police on the presumption of guilt until you can prove your innocence? If you're such a model citizen, will you publish your financial details for all the world to see? Your medical records? Will you install cameras in your home so some faceless official can watch you to make sure you are the 'model citizen' you claim to be? If not, why not? My DNA belongs to me, not the government. No-one will take my DNA, unless I have been arrested for a crime, without a fight.
Stu, UK

Of course it should and the BBC should be promoting the ban of a DNA database and anything that invades on a man's privacy. The government don't own any man or wo-man, they just think they do.
Nik, SE UK

Everyone's DNA profile should be recorded else it becomes ineffective. Anyone who objects in the name of civil liberties needs to understand that they are only protecting the offenders and effectively giving them one free shot at crime. Thanks guys.
James Robson, Wick, Caithness

That 'comedian' (in both senses) who suggested that one is either 'innocent or guilty' misses a point: one is 'convicted' or 'unconvicted'. And thanks to our detectives NOT relying on 'old-fashioned policing' (which the comedian would like) old cases are being cleared up - thanks to DNA profiling! DNA techniques don't just find the baddies, they also protect the innocent by the process of quicker elimination 'from police enquiries'. Saving us all time and money.
Anthony E.R.Taylor, Hillingdon

The government should either keep a DNA database of everyone; or of no one except convicted felons. A DNA database doesn't only help to convict, but could also help to identify victim's remains and abducted children - both young and those who don't know or remember their backgrounds. However, DNA databases can also be misused by governments and the private sector. Molecular biology, like all technologies, is a double-edged sword - good or evil depending on the wisdom or intent of the user.
Muhammad Zaman, Oxford

Very simply, we can almost eradicate crime if we allow authorities to monitor everything we do, if we permit random searches of our home and person, if we volunteer our DNA for profiling, and submit to regular lie-detection tests and psychometric evaluations (do we have criminal tendencies?), and if we permit 'bait and trap' techniques to be deployed (leave a wallet on the floor, wait for someone to find it and keep it, swoop in and arrest). The question is do we want to live in a world like this? Where people (not the privileged or 'authorities') are treated as guilty and unworthy of trust, where innocence is only ever seen as a result of effective controls, and where any ends justify the means. In fact, if the police came round to my house now, strapped me to the waterboard, and began to interrogate me I would immediately confess to eating a grape from Tesco before I had bought the bunch.
Mark Morrison, London

Yes - and here is why. Imagine if the Weimar republic in Germany had such a DNA database in the 1920s? We need to protect our liberties against potential future governments that may have as yet unspecified agendas regimes
Mike , Edinburgh

The problem is not the database - it's a government that doesn't seem to understand that arrest is not the same as conviction. If you are not convicted, then you are innocent, and by definition cannot "RE-offend" in 6, 12 or even more years! Unless Vernon Coaker and his mates can understand that, our free country is dead
Geoff, Woodbridge

I find it rather funny that the same people who are claiming this goes against the principle of 'innocent until proven guilty' are often the same people who say the government are going to abuse this database. I suppose nobody ever asked liberal politics to make sense...
Allan, Paisley

There seems to be no limit to this government chutzpah. This does not bring the UK in line with the ruling and is an affront to the principle of innocent until proven guilty. I didn't think I could be any more disgusted with the people that make up this government. I was wrong.
Bob, Birmingham

It was a bad idea in the first place, now they are going to take off after 10 yrs when the young one's on it will committing crimes.
Sid, Spalding

Time and again the Government has shown it can't be trusted with data of any sensitivity. I certainly would not trust them with my DNA. Until we see people held to account for data losses in the Government they will never be trusted.
Dave, Aberdeen

WHO OWNS YOUR DNA? If your leg were chopped off in an accident the police would return it to you. DNA is part of you, you own it. It is not for the police to dictate who controls the DNA of innocent people - that is the route to biological fascism that the Labour government is pursuing by holding DNA and demanding biometric ID cards of people who have no need or obligation to disclose their identities.
Henry Harington, Dartmoor

"As a serving police officer, I have to agree that a great many people who are in reality "guilty" are not found guilty in court due to evidence rules, blind luck or lack of evidence."
OldDog, UK

It's disconcerting to see what a serving police officer thinks of one of the foundations our British justice system; that you are innocent until PROVED guilty.
Chris Oldershaw, Ceredigion

Why is it that the Scottish legislators feel that keeping DNA records for 3 years is adequate, but in England it is needed for up to 12 years? Remember that these days any alleged offence is arrestable. Previously and in most Western countries, police can only arrest subject to much stricter limitations.
Roger, Malvern

I'm surprised the control freaks in charge don't want us to pay to store our DNA details, although of course we do indirectly. Why not just tattoo a number on our arms at birth and be done with it!
D Thompson, Bournemouth

Of course it should - in fact people's DNA should not be collected until AFTER they have been found guilty, not before. Anything else is a blatant violation of what is supposed to be our basic human rights in this country - to be considered innocent until proven guilty. Collecting DNA upon arrest presumes guilt and should not be permitted.
Andrew Haigh, London

The benefit from having a national, or even better world, DNA database would be in research for cures to diseases which, today, are incurable, such as cancer! All this guilty/not guilty nonsense is secondary!
Rustle, Paris France

(Give me strength...) All those who contend that 'only criminals need worry about their DNA being on file' are missing a vital point: Who decides what is 'criminal'? Spliff?
C, Chelmsford

As anyone with the slightest of intelligence will know, nothing on the cyberspace is unhackable. This is not a matter of IF the database will leak, but WHEN. Also, DNA testing is not 100%. What happens to those that got misidentified? And quite frankly, the govt.'s handling of secretive data doesn't exactly inspire confidence. What happens to the concept of "Innocent until proven guilty"?
Chris, Cambridge

Destroying DNA records guarantees thousands of crimes will not be solved and the guilty will go free.
BrummyDoug, Birmingham England

"DNA isn't just important for solving crimes but for over turning miscarriages of justice, yet we have already seen that anti-DNA groups are now even against this preferring to see innocent people go to jail..."
Andy that is preposterous. Using DNA is not the same thing as storing people's DNA profiles in a database. For overturning wrongful convictions, a DNA database (of individuals' profiles) is simply not required. Only a database of crime scenes is useful for overturning wrongful convictions. I am not aware of anyone being opposed to a database of crime scene DNA.
JP, Berks

"What's the problem? If you've got nothing to hide and don't intend to commit a crime why not have your DNA stored."
Two situations. 1) What if a malign, Hitlerian-styled government got in and decided it didn't like certain classes of people?
2) What if you do something non-crime that gets redefined as a crime later on? Where will you hide when they decide they need to talk to you. We all have much to worry about with this overzealous collection of data.
Dane Aubrun, Brighton, Sussex

If you are found not guilty either by being released with out charge or through the courts then your DNA should be destroyed immediately.
Eric Sparks, Walsall

If this is such an excellent idea, perhaps the government (ministers and civil servants together) should lead by example: and register their details to encourage others. Perhaps their families as well? Does anyone see any of this happening soon?
Adam, Poole, Dorset

1. OF COURSE the data must be deleted 2. But why wait "six to twelve years", should be immediate after release/acquittal. ends
P U D, Vesinet, France

Imagine being the victim of a horrific rape and the police says "sorry nothing matches our files". So do we then spend millions taking up police time to test the DNA of POSSIBLE suspects and eventually hitting a dead end? My answer is no, and so I am for the DNA database.
Susan, London

This Government has been creeping and side-stepping towards a Guilty Until Proven Innocent and No Right To Silence, state for years. An example of this is if a vehicle is registered in your name and a speed camera records that that vehicle has exceeded the speed limit, then the registered keeper must inform the police who was driving the car so that the Crown Prosecution Service will then have the evidence they need to successfully prosecute the driver for exceeding the speed limit. If the keeper does not inform the police then s/he keeper commits a criminal offence and now receives 6 points on their driving licence. Six points and a criminal record for not providing incriminating evidence is a blatant contradiction to the Right of Silence and Innocent Until Proven Guilty, with the onus of providing proof of guilt by the Crown being dissolved and is modern day "Confess or it's the Tower for you". DNA retention is just another step towards a pre-Magna Carta state.
Ross, London

For those not charged the records may be kept for 1 year and that is it, the data is deleted, and not archived as they planned neither.

Here is another thing, CRB checks, you know, when you try and get a job like a Teacher, do you think it won't include a DNA database check ?. As they say 'No smoke without fire', innocent, yes but bang goes your career just the same.
Bob Biryani, London

Is it right to wipe the DNA profiles of innocent people? Should their samples be kept at all? no, unless a suspect and under investigation/review. Are you in the DNA database?Can any of us tell??
jr4412, Bournemouth

DNA should be stored from birth. This may well detour some would be wrong doers and make them think twice about their invincibility. Human rights would not be infringed unless you did something wrong and were caught, by that time you would have been found guilty anyway. The same as ID cards unless you have something to hide they with DNA can only help to keep out undesirables and make people more accountable with the end result of making our nation a better place.
BFK, Tewkesbury

"Ministers argue the cuts are adequate, but say fewer crimes will be solved." From this statement, it is obvious that ministers assume we're ALL criminals and that it's just a case of when, rather than if.J
on Slack, Nottingham, Notts

Why don't they go the whole way and lock us all up ... "just in case"?
Ian, Reading, England

Tim wrote: "If everyone had their DNA taken and stored, surely almost every crime would then be solved? So instead of deleting DNA record we should be adding to them, guilty or not guilty. Think of all the unsolved crimes which would then become solved. Am I the only one who has thought of this?"
Oh no, I'm sure that there are quite a lot of people whose only knowledge of policing and forensics comes from watching episodes of "NCIS" think so as well, Tim. They couldn't be more wrong, of course....for example, are crime rates lower or detection rates higher in the UK , which has more of it's citizens on record than any other country in the world? The answer is - NO.
Richard, Southampton

The balance of proof in law has tipped over too far in favour of offenders, If as has been quoted 26-30,000 less convictions will be achieved by the cut backs suggested, I think that tells all. There should be a database & it should be compulsory, think about the rights of the victims of crime & their families, I think these should be the priorities. As many have already said, I do not fear this situation, as I do not commit crimes, and I think the lop-sided adversarial game has gone on too long, using technicalities and legal niceties to help the offenders, let's start helping the victims.
BarryM, Sheffield

DNA is our own personal property, to allow the government to keep individual genomic data, on individuals who remain most of there lives as a victim of crime or indeed commit no unlawful acts, by collecting DNA data from everyone, is surely insinuating that ' everyone will one day may... rob a shop or kill their neighbour etc.' and in light of a remote possibility that it would occur, it gives them the 'right' to screen and collect our own genetic information. Yes DNA database provides many advantages to providing evidence and locating suspects of a crime from 1 in a million to just one person. but by having everybody on the database, poses to many issues of concern. And the bottom line of the matter is: DNA is or own personal genetic information, allowing others to have voluntary access to it is unacceptable. Having a government which is constantly suspect of its own citizens, should be removed as they are clearly willing to make a mockery of our human rights, and yet claim to protect our best interests. Surely not...
Dr Gaud, Edinburgh

I'm not so bothered about the police using my DNA to exclude me from a crime scene. It's the privacy aspect that worries me ... unscrupulous or careless officials losing or "selling" the database. Insurance companies will soon find DNA data invaluable to measure lifespan, genetic tendencies, hereditary diseases, etc., and some of us will find it impossible to get life insurance.
Barbara, Northants, UK

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