DNA Database

Anyone interested in attending an Inquiry Session on the DNA Database?

DNA Database Citizen’s Inquiry
The Inquiry panel will be made up of panels based in Glasgow and Birmingham and is set to begin in January 2008. The panels will be made up of 30 people who are NOT required to have any knowledge of the database before the Inquiry. The panel will hear from a range of experts, and using their own life and lived experiences make decisions, recommendations and conclusions on related issues. Audience members are invited to either city to participate in the debate. Each expert session will be joined by an audience that will have an opportunity to participate in the debate through questions and answers. The audience are also encouraged to submit their perspective to the panel through written or audio means

We are able to subsidise travel to and from the events. Subsidy is dependant on wage and number of people attending.

The coming Monday is the final meeting for Inquiry panel.
Monday 3rd March 6-9 pm Orange Studio, Cannon Street, Birmingham or Glasgow Audi, Braehead, Glasgow

Guest speakers will be:
· Karen Squibb-Williams (CPS)
· Professor Alan Jamieson

Please feel free to pass this email onto all interested colleagues or networks. Should you require any further information, or are interested in being involved please get in touch with me at Vis-a-Vis on 01254 290244 or email info@vis-à-vis.org.uk

The DNA database

The police use the database to search for matches to DNA found at crime scenes and to trace and identify suspects. It is predicted that under the present system 25% of the male population and 7% of the female population will soon be on it. The results of the Inquiry will feed into the HGC’s report to the Government on forensic use of DNA in 2008.

Sir John Sulston, the Human Genetics Commission's acting chair has said, “The police in England and Wales have powers to take a DNA sample from anyone arrested or detained on suspicion of a wide variety of offences, from serious crimes like murder and rape to begging or poaching. These powers to take DNA without consent are much stronger than in any other country and it has been suggested that they might be extended even further, to include offences such as speeding and dropping litter. We want to hear the public's views on whether storing the DNA profiles of victims and suspects who are not charged or are subsequently acquitted is justified by the need to fight crime.

“The database has a preponderance of young men with a third of all black males currently on it. And people are on it for life. On the other hand, a steadily increasing number of serious crimes, including murders and rapes, are being solved and criminals brought to justice with its help. There is an important balance to be struck between individual rights and public safety and we need to know how people feel about these issues.”

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