At the last meeting of the Metropolitan Police Authority, the ubiquitous Jenny Jones AM asked the Commissioner the following question:
“The new coalition government is planning to adopt the protections of the Scottish model for the DNA database. What will this mean for the Met and how are you preparing the ground for the changes?”
The written answer has just been released and includes the following piece of information:
“In 2008/09, the ACPO Criminal Records Office found that 79 rape, murder or manslaughter cases in England and Wales were matched to the DNA database from DNA profiles that belonged to individuals who had been arrested but not convicted of any crime. Of that number, 36 cases were found to have had a direct and specific value to the investigation. If we were to have applied the Scottish model’s retention regime to this number and retained only those who were arrested but not convicted of a serious crime, then the number of potential detections would have reduced by almost 2/3 to just 13 detections. In short, 23 victims of the most serious crimes and their families could have been denied justice last year alone under the Scottish model.”
Maybe this is another area that the Coalition Government will have to start “reviewing”.