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National DNA Database

Volume 527: debated on Monday 9 May 2011

17. What assessment she has made of the potential effects on the number of crimes solved of proposed changes in the national DNA database. (54334)

The changes we propose to limit the retention of the DNA profiles of people not convicted of any offence are based on the coalition agreement commitment to introduce the protections of the Scottish system in order better to balance public protection and individuals’ rights. The statistics show that simply increasing the number of DNA profiles on the DNA database does not necessarily increase the number of detections made via that database.

There are already 150,000 crimes in which a DNA sample has been taken at the crime scene and not been matched to anybody on the database. Surely the Minister accepts that having fewer people on the database will mean that fewer matches will be made and fewer criminals will be brought to justice. Will he explain how having more dangerous criminals on the streets enhances my freedoms?

I know that my hon. Friend looks at the facts and circumstances, so I ask him to look at what has happened in the past five years. Since 2004-05, an additional 2 million individuals were added to the national DNA database but there were 4,000 fewer detections as a consequence.