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Sunday, 27 September 2009

SNP to increase number of DNA samples held (with support of Labour)

When I was doing my Sunday morning trawl of the news and newspaper websites I was somewhat shocked when I saw the headline "Call to retain more DNA samples" on the BBC website.

In Scotland, if you are given a fine or a work order (direct measures) your DNA is not taken, in other words if there is not a criminal conviction they don't take your DNA - sounds good to me.

I have to be honest though, the fiscal fines do cover an array of potential law infringements. These direct measures can be used as an alternative to prosecution for crimes such as vandalism, breach of the peace, theft and assault.

Now, as I am not a lawyer I don't know whether the theft also covers burglary? For me, burglary and assault cases should have the DNA samples taken, I know some people within my own party will disagree, but I think serial burglars need locking up, they destroy people's lives and assault can kill people.

In Scotland most DNA samples are destroyed if the individual is neither charged nor convicted, unlike in England and Wales where DNA samples are retained.

What amazes me is that the SNP and Labour are going to join together to push this through and yet are still sniping at each other with claims and counter claims on who's DNA policy is best.

Let us ensure that Tavish Scott and the team uphold the human rights where applicable and ensure the guilty criminals are dealt with swiftly and effectively.

I am now convinced that between the SNP and the Labour Party the objective is to get everyone's DNA on a register - let us hope this never, ever happens.

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