Stephen Williams MP - working hard for Bristol West

Stephen Williams MP expresses concerns over growth of DNA database

1.40.37pm GMT Tue 30th Jan 2007

DNA Sample [Copyright: Chief Constable of the Police Service of Northern Ireland]

Stephen Williams MP has expressed concern after it was revealed that Avon and Somerset Police hold the DNA details of more than 68,000 people. This means that almost one in twenty people across the region have their genetic records held on file.

Stephen Williams said "Our worry is that DNA is being held on people who have not been charged let alone convicted. People ought to have a right to know the information that is being held by police and if they have not been convicted then that information should not be held at all. DNA evidence is useful for rape cases and other cases involving human contact but if someone is arrested for drunk and disorderly or swearing at a police officer, I do not think their DNA should then be stored."

Police have the power to take a DNA sample from anyone arrested on suspicion of an offence. They currently hold about 3.5 million files across the UK, 140,000 of which come from children under the age of 16.

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