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Home Office in DNA mixed bag

The Home Office has come up with a mixed bag of proposals to get around the inconvenient fact that holding innocent people's DNA details indefinitely has been ruled illegal.Jacqui Smith and her merry band on Thursday said that innocent people's DNA would be held for 12 years before being deleted, if they had been arrested (but not charged) in connection with violent or sexual crimes.
Written by Tom Espiner, Contributor

The Home Office has come up with a mixed bag of proposals to get around the inconvenient fact that holding innocent people's DNA details indefinitely has been ruled illegal.

Jacqui Smith and her merry band on Thursday said that innocent people's DNA would be held for 12 years before being deleted, if they had been arrested (but not charged) in connection with violent or sexual crimes. Only 12 years! Well, that's alright then. That's only one whole sixth of an average person's life.

Other innocent people, arrested in connection with other crimes, would have their DNA held for six years.

A Home Office press statement said that these measures were designed to "reassure the public that the right people are kept on the DNA database". If innocent people's details are held for 12 years, then at any one time a significant number of records on the database would not be for the "right people" at all.

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