The Evening Standard has today revealed that Alan Johnson plans to retain the DNA of all adults, including 16 and 17-year-olds, who are arrested for a serious violent or sexual offence for six years – even if they are not convicted.
To put that in context, this means that over 850,000 innocent adults and juveniles whose genetic details are currently on the national database will be treated and tested as suspects each time a DNA sample is picked up at a crime scene.
The Standard reports:
Mr Johnson, who was understood to be finalising his plans today, is preparing to defy his opponents because of concern that crime detection would be undermined if the DNA records of all innocent people on the database were deleted.
Our Home Secretary is clearly not quite so bothered about our civil liberties being undermined.
In addition to all this, the Home Office recently performed a spectacular u-turn and promised to remove the DNA of innocent people from the database, a tacit admission that it was time to fall into line with the ruling of the European Court.
Now, in a classic reverse ferret, the government has turned around and said they're committed to keeping innocent DNA on the database once more. If the government thinks that because they are targeting teenagers they can get away with this sort of intrusion, they are wrong.
The DNA database stands as a shining example of the Home Office's Big Brother instincts and we can only hope that the Tories actually deliver on promises to reverse this overbearing and intrusive policy.
By Dylan Sharpe