UK Politics

Conservative Party: Returning innocent people's DNA

News   •   Jan 04, 2010 10:45 GMT

Shadow Immigration Minister Damian Green has launched a new campaign against innocent people's DNA being held indefinitely on a Government database.

The campaign comes as new figures reveal huge disparities in the way DNA records of innocent are treated.

The figures show that where you live has a huge impact on whether you are able to reclaim your DNA. Some police forces refuse to remove any records once the case is closed, while others remove more than four out of five.

Damian Green himself successfully reclaimed his own DNA from the Metropolitan Police after his arrest last year. He said the figures show that policy towards DNA is "a shambles", and pledged that a Conservative Government would adopt the Scottish system where the vast majority of innocent people have their DNA removed immediately.

In response to the many letters Green has received from members of the public whose DNA is wrongly retained, the Conservatives have launched a ‘Return my DNA’ petition and campaign group on MyConservatives.com.

This aims to raise awareness of the over one million innocent people whose DNA is currently held on this Government database. Announcing the new campaign, Green said that the Metropolitan Police wrongly declared him an "exceptional case" after his arrest.

"I have received many cases of other innocent people who are trying to recover their DNA. They include magistrates, grandmothers, a number of former servicemen and women: precisely those who, like me, are instinctively inclined to help the police".

"We all want an effective police force, and the support of the public is one of the most vital tools for the police. For this reason it is imperative that the police return the DNA of innocent people."