UK: Only Those Convicted Should Be On DNA Database, Says Panel
An inquiry panel established by a Government advisory body has recommended that many of the records on the UK's DNA database, the biggest in the world, be deleted. A ruling is still awaited from the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) on the issue.
More than 6% of the UK population is on the DNA database, the highest proportion in the world. In England and Wales anyone detained by police on suspicion of a wide variety of offences can have DNA material added to the database even if they are never charged or convicted of a crime.
Government advisors the Human Genetics Commission (HGC) established a panel of 30 people to investigate the database. The panel, called a 'citizens' inquiry', could call expert witnesses, take evidence and direct their own six week period of research.
It concluded that the database should not hold the DNA of people who have not been convicted of a crime, and that data on people who were convicted should be held for a length of time propotionate to their sentence.