British police arresting people to expand DNA database

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London, Nov. 24 (ANI): People in Britain are routinely being arrested simply because police wants to record their DNA profiles on the national database, a new report has claimed.

A report by the Human Genetics Commission also states that three quarters of young black men are already on the database, which already has over one million DNA samples.

The finding risks stigmatising a whole section of society, the equality watchdog has warned.

The independent government advisory body warns that "function creep" over the years had transformed a database of offenders into one of suspects.

"It's now become pretty much routine to take DNA samples on arrest, so large numbers of people on the DNA database will be there not because they have been convicted, but because they've been arrested," Times Online quoted Jonathan Montgomery, commission chairman, as saying.

Although recorded crime has fallen every year since 2004-05, but the number of people arrested in England and Wales annually is rising.

According to the report, there was some evidence that people were arrested to retain the DNA information even though they might not have been arrested in other circumstance.

A retired senior police officer told the commission: "It is now the norm to arrest offenders for everything if there is a power to do so. It is apparently understood by serving police officers that one of the reasons . . . is so that DNA can be obtained."

Chris Grayling, the Shadow Home Secretary, has said that innocent people should not have their DNA retained by the police once they are acquitted of a crime.

Isabella Sankey, of Liberty, said: "Not only are we stockpiling the most sensitive information of innocents who have never been charged, let alone convicted, we are also creating a perverse incentive to arrest people solely to get their details on the database." (ANI)

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