Coalition Government’s plans on DNA would have meant 23 rapists or killers would have gone free last year

At the last meeting of the Metropolitan Police Authority, the ubiquitous Jenny Jones AM asked the Commissioner the following question:

The new coalition government is planning to adopt the protections of the Scottish model for the DNA database. What will this mean for the Met and how are you preparing the ground for the changes?”

The written answer has just been released and includes the following piece of information:

In 2008/09, the ACPO Criminal Records Office found that 79 rape, murder or manslaughter cases in England and Wales were matched to the DNA database from DNA profiles that belonged to individuals who had been arrested but not convicted of any crime. Of that number, 36 cases were found to have had a direct and specific value to the investigation. If we were to have applied the Scottish model’s retention regime to this number and retained only those who were arrested but not convicted of a serious crime, then the number of potential detections would have reduced by almost 2/3 to just 13 detections. In short, 23 victims of the most serious crimes and their families could have been denied justice last year alone under the Scottish model.”

Maybe this is another area that the Coalition Government will have to start “reviewing”.

5 thoughts on “Coalition Government’s plans on DNA would have meant 23 rapists or killers would have gone free last year”

  1. Appalling, let us hope common sense rather than screeching propaganda prevails. Cameron ought to be able to take on twits like Dave Davis and certain sort of habitue of ConsHome again.

    No-one is likely to check how many suspects are cleared more quickly using DNA samples already held, so that innocent folk are not troubled in some cases, whereas otherwise they might have been held, perhaps stigmatised in a rape case by being held unjustly.

    I suppose the use of fingerprinting, photography etc brought out twittertarains bewailing the ‘police state’ of the 1870s, while the real police state of Shakespeare and Marlow’s days is ignored.

  2. You overstate the figures. One figure omitted is that in excess of ONE MILLION UK subjects are now on the database and are innocent. These include a 12 month old baby. Way to go, Toby.

  3. The problem is, nobody trusts these kind of statements from APCO anymore. Lies, damned lies and statistics! 36 cases were found to have a direct and specific value to the investigation? This can also mean the people that were matched were eliminated from police enquiries. The step to saying “23 victims of the most serious crimes would have been denied justice under proposed DNA reforms” is a very tenuous one indeed.

    If what this blog implies was really true, Brown would not have felt desperate enough to have his photo taken alongside Sally Bowman’s mother and be ridiculed on the BBC as ‘being confused on the issue!

  4. Marcus police mendacity is at the heart of it. Deletion of samples must be verified and transparent, by a genuinely independent party, nobody has any credence in P.C Plod now.

  5. You are quite right Ron, the Police are behaving more like a force than a service these days. Rather than fighting this rearguard action, they should be preparing to mass erase a million records illegally held. Not just because a High Court in Europe and the electorate said so, but also because they are breaking the Data Protection Act 1988 second and third principles and have been getting away with this type of behaviuour using fig leaves of obscure laws pressed through in obscure committees, without parliament scrutiny. I am afraid also mylordship was caught dozing on the job. You guys are meant to be a bastion of reason and common sense Toby!

    How can the police gain respect from the community it is supposed to serve and protect, when the APCO lobby is busy peddling propaganda and persuading the legislative to pass laws that put the police above the laws us mere mortals are meant to obey and respect?

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