» Wednesday, September 5, 2007

DNA Database

Asked whether the Prime Minister had submitted his DNA to the DNA database the PMS replied that he wasn’t aware that the Prime Minister had but he would double check if people were interested. Put whether the Prime Minister supported the idea, the PMS said he was very supportive of the DNA database, which had been very successful in tackling crime. The DNA database supplies the police with 3500 matches per month, but there were no plans to introduce a universal, compulsory or voluntary national DNA database.

In response to the suggestion that there were only two ways to go with the system, those being universality or in a sense, dropping it altogether except for people who had committed offences, the PMS said that the purpose of the DNA database is to fight crime and that would continue to be the main focus of what was trying to be achieved. The PMS went on to say that there were civil liberty concerns that needed to be taken into account as well and reiterated that there were no plans to introduce a universal DNA database.

Put that those civil liberties concerns were particularly potent on this issue, the PMS said that he would not characterise or weight those concerns as suggested, but confirmed that there were civil liberties concerns in regards to the issue. In response to the suggestion that the phrase "no plans" could be interpreted as the Prime Minister having sympathy for an idea, the PMS said that there would be huge logistical and bureaucratic issues to deal with alongside the civil liberties concerns.

Asked whether the public might be more supportive in five or ten years the PMS replied that the issue was complex and there was bound to be a lengthy public debate on the subject, but the position was that there were no plans for a universal DNA database. The PMS said that the Prime Minister’s position was to look at options that would help the fight against crime. This needed to be the focus of what the Government was doing in relation to the DNA database.

Briefing took place at 11:00 | Search for related news

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