Keeping DNA Profiles of Arrestees in Great Britain
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Monday, January 17, 2011

In December 2008, the European court of Human Rights in Strasbourg, France, ruled that it was illegal for the Government of Great Britain to keep the DNA details of those arrested - but not convicted - of an offense. The case was brought forward by two men in Great Britain who had been arrested, had their DNA taken, and were put in the British database even though they were acquitted of the crimes and never charged. The court said that keeping the DNA of innocent people on a criminal register amounted to discrimination and a breach of the "right to respect for private life" safeguarded by the Human Rights Convention. But critics say that without a DNA database there would be thousands more unsolved crimes.  From 1999 to 2009 there were more than 304,000 crimes detected where a DNA match played a part.  The British newspaper "The Sun" has highlighted some of the rapists and murderers who were caught because their DNA profile was entered into the DNA database, often for a misdeamenor offence, and matched DNA from an unsolved crime.

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