DNA data 'will create nation of suspects'

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Conservatives called yesterday for improvements to the Government's national DNA database, but warned that extending it to all Britons would create a "nation of suspects".

David Davis, the shadow Home Secretary, floated the idea of past criminals being added to the database, and said more needed to be done to ensure that all current offenders were included.

The Association of Chief Police Officers has called for a debate on expanding the database to cover all people in the UK.

Mr Davis told the BBC's Andrew Marr Show: "We have always had this presumption in our law that the basis of our freedom is that we don't presume somebody is guilty until they're proven guilty. And what this would do is ... change the relationship between the ordinary citizen and the state."

David Blunkett, the former home secretary, told Sky News that the database could be extended on a voluntary basis. "I don't think the Government could just say, let's move from those who have committed a crime or been arrested to the whole population ... [We need to say] to people, you've got nothing to fear from this so long as we legislate to protect you."