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Tuesday, 24 November 2009

Police arrest innocent people to get their details on the DNA database

The Human Genetics Commission has accused police of arresting people purely to get their details on the police DNA database.

Speaking on radio 4’s Today programme this morning, Prof Jonathon Montgomery from the Human Genetics Commission said that they had received evidence that police were deliberately making arrests in order to obtain DNA samples. He said that the evidence had originated “from a convincing source – a retired senior police officer.”

The former head of ACPO, Chris Fox, also speaking on the programme, admitted he was ‘uncomfortable’ with the retention of DNA, but defended the police’s rights to collect data on the population.

“The police have always held data on innocent people”, said Chris Fox. “It is the first chain of the intelligence route…the point about intelligence is that it’s weeded – thrown away when it is found to be no good. The DNA database isn’t.”

Those of us with less faith in the ‘weeding’ ability of the National Public Order Intelligence Unit may find this distinction a little weak.

4 comments:

Deoxyribonucleic said...

How does this affect fitwatch?
You have both been convicted on more than one occasion.
That said I can't see DNA being useful as you actively seek arrest.

John Steed said...

There is the little matter of freedom, of course. The Marper ruling (which plod sees fit to ignore) upheld Art 8 & 14 OF THE echr.Once 25% of the population are tested then exponentially thru familial DNA everyone is on file. Tie for direct action, as Brother Kwame Toure said By Whatever Means Necessary.

Really Fit said...

I don't normally respond to such blatant trolling as that of the commenter above. But, (sigh) perhaps it is worth making our position on all this very clear. Again.

Fitwatch has involved a substantial number of people over the last few years. There are decidedly more than two people active in its work.

Nobody in FITwatch has actively sought arrest, although a number have been arrested for challenging police surveillance methods - namely for holding banners in front of police cameras preventing them from filming individuals on a protest or march. Three were arrested for objecting to police filming and identifying attendees at a political meeting.

We do not hide this fact, and make no apology for it. FITwatch has always been a direct action network, and we stand by that as there is no reason why people involved in protest should passively accept the harassment and intimidation of the FIT (Forward Intelligence Teams).

If FITwatchers had not taken such action, much of what is currently known about protester databases would not be in the public eye, as key revelations occured when police officers took the stand, trying to defend their practice of gathering and retaining personal information. A practice which we still maintain is NOT lawful.

As for the story on DNA, I think a story showing how the police are willing to abuse their powers in order to gather data on innocent people is all too relevant.

Anonymous said...

It's OK as the HMIC report comes out tomorrow and will shut down all the shadowy anti protest units.

Ha Ha Ha