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Does DNA testing affect your employability, or not?

Sh1032_Policeman_Shadow The legality of the drug mephedrone is under review, given that in its chemical composition it is very close indeed to ecstasy.  Putting the rights and wrongs of that to one side, i am most concerned by this just in, over at the Register:

Barnard Castle-based Inspector Kevin Tuck is reported as saying: "In Durham police have taken a stance and anyone found with it will be arrested on suspicion of possession of a banned substance."

He adds: "They will be taken to a police cell, their DNA and fingerprints taken and that arrest, depending upon enquiries, could have serious implications for example on future job applications" (our italics).

We asked Durham police for clarification of what possible serious implications there could be for an individual found in possession of a legal substance who had their fingerprints or DNA taken. It was speculated that perhaps some employers would ask prospective job candidates about details not merely of convictions, but of all contact with police – and therefore having DNA taken could adversely affect job prospects for that reason.

However, we have had no official response to our inquiry and remain as baffled as the Home Office, who are still sticking to their line that DNA testing in and of itself can have no consequence for an individual.

Well, which is right, then..?  Are we seeing a bottom-up change in policy as to the DNA database, or can we expect to see the Durham plod slapped down pronto?

We'll keep you posted on this as it unfolds.

By Alex Deane

Hat-tip: SZ

Posted on by Big Brother Watch Posted in DNA database, Privacy

5 Responses to Does DNA testing affect your employability, or not?

  1. Gareth

    Durham Police appear to be admitting to a policy of wrongful arrest. Let slip the solicitors of war!
    The risk for job applications is not about DNA but about arrest records. You could feasibly be arrested but not have your DNA taken though it is not likely. Your record it will show an arrest (but not conviction) for suspected possession of a banned substance even though the substance wasn’t illegal at the time.
    This is a threat from the Police plain and simple.

  2. Jess The Dog

    They’re probably talking about enhanced disclosure or criminal record checks, for certain types of employment.
    Record of arrest – or contact with the police – would be on their local crimefile database, possibly an intelligence database as well. This might be picked up although possibly not as these systems are very different from the clunking ancient criminal record database (which is a pain to check through). But a criminal record check is not necessarily just limited to criminal records….

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