Sarah speaking about cross-border use of DNA data

April 21, 2008 12:30 PM
By Sarah Ludford in European Parliament

Mr President, there are 4.3 million individuals whose DNA is on the UK national DNA database and available to police. That is 7% of the UK population - at least five times higher, as a proportion, than in any other country. That figure includes 150 000 children under the age of 16, of whom 25 000 have never been charged with an offence. Britain's most senior police forensics expert has even suggested that children as young as five should go on the DNA database if they exhibit behavior indicating they might be potential criminals in later life. This is taking predictive policing to a ridiculous level.

My party believes this to be the realization of Orwell's 'Big Brother' Britain. The DNA of innocent people should not be exchanged, and at the very minimum, in line with the advice of the European Data Protection Supervisor, there should be precise limitations on what data can be exchanged and a health warning in that exchange if the person has no criminal record.