Thursday, December 04, 2008


The media frenzy over the Matthews 'abduction' case has unfortunately pushed the very important ECHR decision on the DNA database on to page 2.
What seems important to me is not the usefulness of DNA evidence (for which I should be grateful if it served to catch someone who had wronged me or mine) but rather the Government's deceitful and furtive approach to gathering information. There is an arguable case, although I disagree with it, for a DNA database of the whole population. There is a more or less accepted case for a database of convicted offenders. So if the Government believes in option one, let them have the guts to put it in the manifesto, so it can be properly debated, and then legislate. What is now happening is the weaselly half-measure of taking and keeping DNA from all those arrested, even if they are swiftly released or subsequently cleared. That's unfair and arbitrary, and I am cheered to see the ECHR giving the government a well-deserved poke in the eye.

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