Still no timetable for deletion of DNA records

Dna197 The planned deletion of the DNA profiles of millions of innocent people still lacks a definitive timetable, it was revealed today. Conservative MP Philip Davies asked the government how much time would be required once the legislation has been passed to remove the DNA of people who have been found innocent but whose records remain on the database. Home Office minister James Brokenshire said:

"Our aim is to remove the vast majority of non-convicted people from the NDNAD (National DNA Database) as soon as is practicable, following enactment of the relevant provisions."

The minister had previously announced that over 6 million DNA profiles have now been entered onto the database since it was created, including more than 1 million people who do not have "a current conviction, caution, formal warning or reprimand".

Whereas previously DNA could be kept indefinitely by the police, even if someone had been arrested but not charged or convicted, the Protection of Freedoms Bill 2011 sets out new legislation. Those arrested for minor crimes will have their DNA removed if they are not convicted, however anyone arrested for a serious crime will have their record kept for three years as a precaution.

Certain elements of the police have attempted to use the deletion of DNA from the database as a means to scare the public via reports in the media about rapists and murderers going free as a result. Genewatch UK dismissed the police figures claiming an additional 1,000 crimes may occur every year as false, determining the real number to be closer to 12 low-level crimes.

Yvette Cooper, the shadow home secretary, challenged the plans of the government:

"They are going too far in restricting the use of DNA from suspects who have been arrested. Of course there must be safeguards in the system, but sensible use of DNA also helps catch very dangerous criminals and prevents innocent people being wrongly charged too."

These people, many of whom are children, have never been found guilty of a crime; however their DNA records still remain on a database amongst violent criminals. The government must move swiftly to enact this legislation, delete these records and establish good practice for maintaining a DNA database.

Posted by on May 10, 2011 in DNA database | 4 Comments


  1. Purlieu
    10th May 2011

    “and prevents innocent people being wrongly charged too.”
    I’ll have one of what she’s on, please

  2. shaun
    11th May 2011

    The problem with the DNA database is its re-active, they only have the DNA of people arrested, so if I was to undertake a crime, they could not use it to catch me, the only way it could ever work is is everyone has DNA taken at birth, not that I want that to happen.
    The quicker they remove innocent people from this the better, then they should plan to scrap the whole lot, as its a total waste of time and money, by the way is there any statistics indicating how successful the DNA database has been in convicting criminals.

  3. Purlieu
    11th May 2011

    They do have DNA of people not arrested.
    They will take a sample even if you are only in for questioning.
    And what about the DNA of those guys asked to come forward to eliminate themselves from rape cases, there were 10,000 in Bristol alone last year.

  4. Mike Matthews
    14th May 2011

    I have asked Leicestershire Police to remove my DNA from the database as I have no convictions etc. but the arrogant plods won’t do it. The sooner plod is taken to task over this the better.