9 May 2009

Before we can condone holding information of innocent people, we must review the systems

While MP expenses are stealing the headlines with "cheque book journalism", I think the leak is potentially a well positioned distraction from the concepts of DNA Databases and ID Cards.

I happen to be a supporter of DNA databases and ID Cards. But I do not advocate them in a country where the Police Service are maintained by target meeting. If we provide the police with a DNA database of every citizen, you can gurrantee that the hierarchy of the Police will feel the pressure to induce more and more use of the system in order to gain funding each year.

But a system that provides a deterrent in both evidence collection and in punishment is of practical use for a democracy.

The other conditions ought to be that DNA evidence is maintained correctly in the chain of command before being submitted, that correct PACE proceedures are met and that DNA evidence is NOT the sole evidence on which to base a prosecution case. Any more than a single witness or character evidence should be.

But the police and the CPS are without morals when faced with the options of hitting targets and getting good press or not hitting targets.

The same applies to the Local Authorities and NHS. Public services should be based on quality and fairness, not revenue and quantative data. This is one Thatcher Legacy I cannot support.

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