The DNA database is currently being destroyed…………and this is a crying shame. Although it is a requirement by Europe that we get rid of old data or data that doesn’t relate to specific offences the cuts in police services and spending mean that for many justice will give way to the rights of offenders – yet again. Recent investigations by Big Brother Watch have shown that although required by law, this is not what is actually happening. Many forces were unable to provide accurate accounts for the data they hold. This is disturbing as it implies that police forces are not properly administering it, which will have a negative impact for investigation too.
DNA is fascinating, and the developments in science mean that more and more can be discovered using DNA. The more money that can be invested in DNA, and the training to use and collect it properly the more useful it will become.
The fear associated with the database is unwarranted. In the UK we supply all sorts of data to all sorts of people without ever really thinking about it. Storecards, social media, governments, schools, emails. Many are used to target specific messages to consumers, and we never bat an eyelid.
Worries about who will use what against us are also unfounded, insurance companies are often cited but information within are DNA can only offer predictions, and can’t see things such as accidents. Knowing what may happen medically may be of use, but then again you only have to look at the number of people who smoke to see that you can’t make people change their habits, or necessarily change their life style. And there are reports that imply that certain types of behaviour are genetically programmed anyway.
But there are restrictions on who can know what.
But back to the argument, the DNA database has been profoundly useful to the police, in ruling people out and convicting the guilty. It can never be used solely in the detection of crime, but is a very powerful tool that helps in this technological age. It won’t stop people being wrongly convicted when fitted up, but nothing has done that yet. But that is a minority of cases. The numbers of cold cases and other crimes that have been able to find an offender should always outweigh the rights of others.
One day I am sure we will have a national DNA database, it just may take a while.