DNA Data base

Lord Soley

There was a useful debate on the government’s desire to reduce the data base for DNA in cases where people have been suspected of involvement in crime. It is a couple of years ago that I suggested a voluntary data base which would be open to all and which I hoped would become a national base when people saw that it did not pose a risk  but would offer very real advantages.

The advantages are:

1. Deterrence. A potential rapist or murderer will know that their chances of being caught are greatly increased;

2. Protection against wrongrful conviction. It is a very strong tool to avoid wrongful convictions;

3. It would increase the chance off catching a serious violent offender which in the case of serial killers could save many lives.

I felt the debate did not pay sufficient attention to victims and potential victims. Read on: http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/ld201011/ldhansrd/text/111129-0001.htm#11112947000485

PLEASE NOTE: THE LINK GIVEN ABOVE TAKES YOU TO A POINT IN THE DEBATE WELL PAST THE RELEVANT AMMENDMENT. PLEASE SCROLL UP TO FIND THE AMMENDMENT MOVED BY BARONESS ROYALL. I WILL TAKE THIS UP WITH HANSARD.

9 comments for “DNA Data base

  1. maude elwes
    30/11/2011 at 12:57 pm

    This has to be an issue that is close to another absurdity.

    It is suggested we should all be prepared to give our life map to a government body voluntarily. Please advise why?

    And please add the reason you feel government has the right to ask for such an imposition to be expected. And why it is felt government and bodies of this kind can be considered trustworthy in order to expect public compliance.

    Even if you feel today the authorities who rule over us lean toward honesty, do you really feel that who comes later will also be that pure.

    Look at it this way. The German people loved Hitler. And would have done more or less whatever their government and he asked of them. As they trusted him implicitly to do what was right for them and their country.

    Now, lets say we flock like sheep to give up our entire right of privacy in the DNA bank, and a few years down the line, after the ‘honest’ Mr Cameron and his alter ego, Ed Miliband, are no longer. And out of the mess we are in today, a great leader is elected who bears an excellent likeness to one Mr Hitler.

    Do you seriously consider it will be in anyone’s interests to have been naive enough to have trusted in the authorities to have given the map to their person? Do you seriously believe they would be safe under such a leader?

    I would go as far as to add, that not only should no man in his right mind give that information freely to the state, but, that all men should make the greatest effort they can to ensure their right to their DNA has to be proven necessarily void before anyone can touch it.

    A man or woman should not be forced to give their DNA, as they have to now, for any reason other than to clear their name of murder.

    Lawyers should be up in arms about this affront to the human right of privacy and freedom.

    You would have to be barking to trust any authority with your privacy.

  2. Gareth Howell
    30/11/2011 at 1:56 pm

    Agreed with Ms Elwes entirely, although I would say that state agencies may be far from reliable, not so much the Mr Hitlers.

    I’ve got very eminent pathologists in my family with whom I would certainly trust my life, but I fear that pathology, in a court of law, does not have a good reputation. There is too much potential for error, and even fraud.

    Having 60 million on a database, much of it a moving population, here one year, not the next, would make it unmanageable.

    Perhaps when all government ministers have had theirs taken , all policemen , all probation officers, ,all prosecution lawyers, judges, magistrates and so on, then we could start on the population at large.

    I’m against it.

  3. MilesJSD
    30/11/2011 at 10:50 pm

    Usually I agree with much of what Maude Elwes submits, and with some of what Gareth Howell puts forward;
    but this time I think they are both being as it were ‘blind-in-one-eye’, to the extent that
    (1) no human on Earth has any “Right” to immunity-from-account in the name of “Privacy”
    – the World does not owe you a “private living”;

    (2) By limiting the data-bank of your democratic government, but not at least equally limiting the data-bank of the Criminal-Sector, you not only fail me as a ‘neighbour’ but are allowing the secret hoarding of machine-guns, explosives, and poisons, ‘under any neighbour’s bed’ as it were, which can be brought out by him/her and used against you in the middle-of-the-night, simply and by Racial-Right as an act of “Ethnic Cleansing”.
    No.

    I am in almost comnplete agreement with, and support of, Lord Soley’s submission above.

    One common flaw needs pointing out, however; and again and again to all other initiators and participants:
    Life-Supportive, or Threatening, Win-Lose Democratic Debating should always be well preceded by and based upon both (i) widely-populaced and (ii) expertise-focused Discussions;
    which in turn should be preceded by comprehensive Information-Sharing.

    That is why political, politicised, or media-led debates always result in major losses for the Needy; here indicated by Lord Soley’s “…the debate did not pay sufficient attention to victims and potential victims …”.

    Most debates fail the most Needy, whilst grossly over-paying the already-rich-and-super-empowered, especially in the “Private” Sector it has to be said;

    ‘though I agree that the Civil Service is both over-paid & over-protected and underfit-for-purpose,;
    and is being awarded new pension arrangements that are higher than their counterparts’ in the wider competitive market-place; are both unsustainworthy towards our common Earth’s lifesupports, and are groslly unfair to the most Needy.

  4. Dave H
    01/12/2011 at 6:18 pm

    If I could trust, not only the present government, but all future ones, then I wouldn’t have a problem with letting them store my DNA profile.

    However, I lost trust in government some time ago, with the previous one re-affirming this by demonstrating just how bad they can be with their ID card nonsense and other dodgy police-state activities. Therefore, no, I will not willingly agree to such a database because it is open to abuse. The refusal to remove samples of innocent people on request is part of this abuse.

    When people put blind faith in such things – “the DNA test came back positive so it must have been him” – it tends to blind them to everything else, and miscarriages of justice will result. It’s not actually as foolproof as those in favour like to make out.

    • Lord Blagger
      02/12/2011 at 1:41 pm

      There have been interesting cases in Tyneside. People who were TWOC (taking without owners consent), were gathering up in a plastic bag the contents of pub ashtrays. They were then throwing this all over the interior of the car when they dumped it.

      According to the police DNA evidence, 35 people and a dog took the car, including 5 who were locked up at the time.

      DNA evidence proves your (or your twin’s) DNA was there, not that you were there. Subject to the failure rate in the lab. Never mentioned that. So if there is a 1 in 100 error rate in the lab, the evidence is not 1 in a billion. It’s 1 in 100.

  5. Twm O'r Nant
    02/12/2011 at 12:42 pm

    It is a dubious science at the best of time, blood analysis for such purposes.

    Geneticists come up with some crackpot ideas based on what they believe to be the evidence of their science.

    I won’t go in to the genetics of “men with bald heads” for fear of raising too much dust.

    DNA taken from Stephen Lawrence’s clothing 13 years after his death is so ridiculous as not to be taken seriously as evidence, except as an exercice in that…. “how not to take it seriously”.

    Lord Soley’s got some funny ideas!(but I do agree!)

  6. Murphy's Law
    02/12/2011 at 12:47 pm

    The three items he lists above are “whatif” laws, that he is suggesting.

    I am against “whatifs” at all times on the basis that they are mere, and probably ill informed, speculation,every bit as bad as gambling on capital markets.

  7. MilesJSD
    02/12/2011 at 2:56 pm

    Twm, all science is dubious.

  8. MilesJSD
    02/12/2011 at 9:32 pm

    Murphy’s Law (sic) would have us believe and legislate that the following prevalently-ongoing criminal scenarios are “mere speculation”:

    Murder and Serial-murder;
    Rape;
    Other violent crimes;
    Terror-by-advertisement-of-Crime, against innocent people;

    and that a DNA-identification-record,
    which is assuredly a much more fail-safe identity-methodology and archive, than the now increasingly de-facto-obsolescent patch-work of identities by driver’s-licence, permanent home address for utilities, passport, strings of secret passwords and memorable-questions,
    to be held by appropriate legally and morally constituted governmental-authorities including UN instrumentalities,
    is likewise “mere speculation” and (therefore) is to be voted-against.

    It bears repeating, and in this whole greater Context of Identity and Sustainworthiness, that:
    “The World does not owe you any “private living” nor any “private identity”.
    ================

    Murphy’s Law (sic) would have us believe and legislate that the following prevalently-ongoing criminal scenarios are “mere speculation”:

    Murder and Serial-murder;
    Rape;
    Other violent crimes;
    Terror-by-advertisement-of-Crime, against innocent people;

    and that a DNA-identification-record,
    which is assuredly a much more fail-safe identity-methodology and archive, than the now increasingly de-facto-obsolescent patch-work of identities by driver’s-licence, permanent home address for utilities, passport, strings of secret passwords and memorable-questions,
    to be held by appropriate legally and morally constituted governmental-authorities including UN instrumentalities,
    is likewise “mere speculation” and (therefore) is to be voted-against.

    It bears repeating, and in this whole greater Context of Identity and Sustainworthiness, that:
    “The World does not owe you any “private living” nor any “private identity”.

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