Friday, 21 August 2009

Diane Abbott MP and Liberty to hold DNA clinic in Hackney

Young people on the DNA database urged to come forward for help on removing profiles

(London – 20 August 2009) – Liberty and Diane Abbott announced today that from September they will be holding a series of DNA clinics in Hackney to help those who have had their DNA retained unfairly. The Labour MP for Hackney North and Stoke Newington and Liberty lawyers will be available to provide help and advice to those who want their DNA profiles removed from the national database.

Diane Abbott, MP for Hackney North and Stoke Newington, said:

“I am glad that Damian Green has been able to get his DNA wiped off of the database. But, as the Home Affairs Select Committee pointed out this month, black men are disproportionately represented on the database. In particular there are tens of thousands of completely innocent young people who have been stigmatised in this way. It is time that the government acted on the ECHR ruling that automatic retention of DNA is wrong. And I am looking forward to working with Liberty to make sure that young people in Hackney who are innocent of any crime can have their DNA taken off the government’s database just like Damian Green"

Liberty have dismissed new Government proposals for the DNA database as ‘inadequate’ and called for the UK to comply with last December’s European Court of Human Rights judgment and remove innocents from the DNA database.

Anna Fairclough, Legal Officer for Liberty, said:

“If Damian Green MP can have his DNA destroyed in record time, young people in Hackney should be entitled to the same. Those without a powerful voice are just as innocent, yet the police seem to find their requests for DNA destruction considerably easier to dismiss.”

Forty percent of Britain’s criminals are not on the database but hundreds of thousands of innocent people are. The National DNA database is one of the largest in the world, holding 4.5 million profiles - this includes around 300,000 children and approximately 850,000 innocent people who have never been charged or cautioned.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Life's too short. Get angry about something today!!!