http://www.computing.co.uk/computing/ne ... -database2DNA database placed on a statutory footing
Cross-party demands for changes to the Crime and Security Bill ignored
Written by Parliamentary reporter
Computing, 09 Mar 2010
The government has used its Commons majority less than a month before the likely date of the general election to push through changes in the law placing the government's DNA database on a statutory footing.
This follows a debate on the Crime and Security Bill, which is currently at the report stage in the Commons.
Crime and Policing Minister David Hanson flatly rejected cross-party demands for a retention period of three years for data from those not subsequently convicted of a crime. Further demands for the data to be held for a longer period (as in Scotland) - where the suspect was arrested for a serious violent or sexual crime - were also denied.
The only government concessions have been to reduce the retention period from 12 years to six and add a new clause to the Crime and Security Bill, which has now completed its passage through the Commons.
The clause provides a procedure through which in exceptional circumstances the "innocent" can "request" the destruction of their data, thereby taking this process out of the hands of the chief constables whose discretion will vary.
The process, which will be upheld by the National DNA Database Strategy Board, is widely expected to be applied to just a handful of those wrongly arrested or who volunteered DNA data to eliminate them from a crime.