There's one particular part that I want to touch on, and that is the retention of DNA.
The retention of the DNA of innocent people is illegal. It took the European court to tell the previous shower that it is illegal. I was not surprised when Labour chose to ignore the ruling. I cannot say I am over surprised that the current lot are doing likewise. Forget all that stuff about the Human Rights legislation, it is a basic violation of the individual to take something by force and to keep it on record when they are innocent of any crime.
I would go further—the police should not take DNA unless they are dealing with suspects of a crime. And, once the perpetrator of the crime has been established, they should destroy said DNA records.
When your humble Devil was done for drink-driving, back in February, the police took a DNA swab. Why?
They lifted me from my car, and breathalysed me. I was bang to rights, no doubt about that.
So why take a DNA sample? What possible motivation could they have for taking a DNA sample of a drink-driver whose guilt was beyond doubt—and who had entered a guilty plea at the station?
At this point, no doubt, someone will pop up and shout something about "nothing to hide, nothing to fear".
Except, of course, that there is. DNA is very far from being the unique identifier that people think it is—especially when the routine analyses are so imprecise. The amount of DNA that separates us from pigs is remarkably small (which is why they used to take insulin from pigs for diabetics); in actual fact, we are—genetically—not so far away from bananas.
When taking the whole of the human genome, the differences between individual humans is something like 0.1%.
Longrider is exercised by the idea that innocent people's DNA should be retained; I argue that, even if found guilty (especially if the suspect pleads guilty to the crime for which they have been arrested), the police should have no mandate to retain an individual's DNA.
I was arrested for a very specific crime. I pleaded guilty to that crime, both at the police station and in court. It was not a crime of violence, nor any one where it might be thought that I had committed others. That crime is the only one that I have admitted to in a court of law, or been accused of.
Why then should my DNA be held?