MPs: police should not keep DNA of the innocent

Click to follow
The Independent Online

Broad powers enabling police to keep the DNA of innocent people indefinitely for reasons of national security should be scrapped, MPs and peers have said.

Ministers have failed to provide a justification of why this power is necessary and proportionate, the Joint Committee on Human Rights said. Its report on the Protection of Freedoms Bill, which is due to go through its remaining stages in the Commons next week, said the proposals regarding the retention of DNA should be reconsidered.

Under the Government's plans, only adults convicted or cautioned will have their DNA stored indefinitely, while those charged but later cleared will see their profile stored for up to five years.

But the committee warned this would create "a significant risk of incompatibility with the right to a private life". The Bill would also "create a broad discretion for the police to authorise the retention of material indefinitely for reasons of national security", the committee warned.