Terror suspects' DNA could be held for life

Terror suspects who are released without charge could face having their DNA profiles stored for life, it was revealed today.

Proposals announced by the Home Office could see the information on anyone arrested for terrorist offences but either not charged or acquitted kept indefinitely on the national database.



Under the plans, senior police officers would review each case every two years on national security grounds to see if holding on to the genetic profile of each individual was warranted.



Even under 18s arrested but not charged could have their DNA profiles stored for much longer periods than for other crimes.



Home Office minister Alan Campbell said terror offences needed to be treated differently from other crimes because of the length of police investigations.



He said the proposals were "proportionate" and would ensure the right people were on the database.



"The reality is that many investigations of certain terrorist activity take a very long time indeed, and they have to be treated differently to the other offences we are talking about," he said.



"In some instances the information could be held for longer, but there's a review procedure and if the evidence is there that it is not necessary to hold that data it could come off earlier."











In a policy document launched today, the Home Office signalled a partial retreat in the face of outrage over plans to hold the DNA of thousands of innocent people for more than a decade.

Adults who are arrested but not convicted of a serious crime will have their profiles held for six years instead of the 12 proposed this summer.



Juveniles who are cleared or not charged with serious crimes will have their data kept for three years, or six if they are aged 16 or 17.



The earlier consultation proposed holding data on all under 18s arrested for a violent or sexual crime for 12 years, even if they were not convicted.



But for minor crimes committed by young offenders, the proposals have been toughened up.



A first conviction will lead to profiles being held for five years.



The Government had suggested all young offenders found guilty of minor misdemeanours should be removed from the database when they reached 18.



Ministers were forced to review the current policy, which allows police to hold profiles of every person arrested indefinitely, after a European Court of Human Rights ruling last year.



Judges in Strasbourg said the "blanket" policy breached human rights because it treated everyone the same regardless of the offence or whether they were convicted.



Between half a million and a million people with no criminal convictions have their DNA profiles stored on the database, the largest of its kind in the world.

News
ebookA unique anthology of reporting and analysis of a crucial period of history
Arts and Entertainment
Standing the test of time: Michael J Fox and Christopher Lloyd in 'Back to the Future'
filmReview: A week late, Secret Cinema arrives as interactive screening goes Back to the Future
Travel
travel
Arts and Entertainment
Sydney and Melbourne are locked in a row over giant milk crates
artCultural relations between Sydney and Melbourne soured by row over milk crate art instillation
Arts and Entertainment
Adèle Exarchopoulos and Léa Seydoux play teeneage lovers in the French erotic drama 'Blue Is The Warmest Colour' - The survey found four times as many women admitting to same-sex experiences than 20 years ago
filmBlue Is The Warmest Colour, Bojack Horseman and Hobbit on the way
Arts and Entertainment
Preparations begin for Edinburgh Festival 2014
Edinburgh festivalAll the best shows to see at Edinburgh this year
News
Two giraffes pictured on Garsfontein Road, Centurion, South Africa.
i100
News
Kenny Ireland, pictured in 2010.
peopleBenidorm, actor was just 68
Environment
View from the Llanberis Track to the mountain lake Llyn
Du’r Arddu
environmentA large chunk of Mount Snowdon, in north Wales, is up for sale
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
arts + ents
News
Morrissey pictured in 2013
people
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Day In a Page

Dress the Gaza situation up all you like, but the truth hurts

Robert Fisk on Gaza conflict

Dress the situation up all you like, but the truth hurts
Save the tiger: Tiger, tiger burning less brightly as numbers plummet

Tiger, tiger burning less brightly

When William Blake wrote his famous poem there were probably more than 100,000 tigers in the wild. These days they probably number around 3,200
5 News's Andy Bell retraces his grandfather's steps on the First World War battlefields

In grandfather's footsteps

5 News's political editor Andy Bell only knows his grandfather from the compelling diary he kept during WWI. But when he returned to the killing fields where Edwin Vaughan suffered so much, his ancestor came to life
Lifestyle guru Martha Stewart reveals she has flying robot ... to take photos of her farm

Martha Stewart has flying robot

The lifestyle guru used the drone to get a bird's eye view her 153-acre farm in Bedford, New York
Former Labour minister Meg Hillier has demanded 'pootling lanes' for women cyclists

Do women cyclists need 'pootling lanes'?

Simon Usborne (who's more of a hurtler) explains why winning the space race is key to happy riding
A tale of two presidents: George W Bush downs his paintbrush to pen father’s life story

A tale of two presidents

George W Bush downs his paintbrush to pen father’s life story
Restaurateur Mitch Tonks has given the Great Western Pullman dining car a makeover

The dining car makes a comeback

Restaurateur Mitch Tonks has given the Great Western Pullman dining car a makeover
Gallery rage: How are institutions tackling the discomfort of overcrowding this summer?

Gallery rage

How are institutions tackling the discomfort of overcrowding this summer?
Louis van Gaal has £500,000 video surveillance system installed to monitor Manchester United players

Eye on the prize

Louis van Gaal has £500,000 video surveillance system installed to monitor Manchester United players
Women's rugby: Tamara Taylor adds fuel to the ire in quest to land World Cup

Women's rugby

Tamara Taylor adds fuel to the ire in quest to land World Cup
Save the tiger: The day America’s love of backyard tigers led to a horrific bloodbath

The day America’s love of backyard tigers led to a horrific bloodbath

With only six per cent of the US population of these amazing big cats held in zoos, the Zanesville incident in 2011 was inevitable
Samuel Beckett's biographer reveals secrets of the writer's time as a French Resistance spy

How Samuel Beckett became a French Resistance spy

As this year's Samuel Beckett festival opens in Enniskillen, James Knowlson, recalls how the Irish writer risked his life for liberty and narrowly escaped capture by the Gestapo
We will remember them: relatives still honour those who fought in the Great War

We will remember them

Relatives still honour those who fought in the Great War
Star Wars Episode VII is being shot on film - and now Kodak is launching a last-ditch bid to keep celluloid alive

Kodak's last-ditch bid to keep celluloid alive

Director J J Abrams and a few digital refuseniks shoot movies on film. Simon Usborne wonders what the fuss is about
Once stilted and melodramatic, Hollywood is giving acting in video games a makeover

Acting in video games gets a makeover

David Crookes meets two of the genre's most popular voices