Page last updated at 16:45 GMT, Wednesday, 9 December 2009

Debate on the DNA database

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Diane Abbott MP has criticised the policy of holding innocent people's details on the national DNA database, during a debate in Westminster Hall on 9 December 2009.

A report from the Human Genetics Commission has said some groups feature disproportionately on the database - with young black men "very highly over represented".

Currently everyone arrested for an offence that could lead to a criminal record has their DNA taken for the database, which now contains around five million profiles.

Ms Abbott claimed that some young people in Hackney felt that being on the DNA database was a badge of honour.

Home Office Minister Alan Campbell told MPs that the importance of the DNA in solving crimes needed to be re-iterated.

He said DNA evidence helped to detect 40,000 crimes a year.

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