Letter: Safe streets mean private sacrifice

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The Independent Online
Sir: So Tom Wilkie disagrees with the Criminal Justice Bill's proposal to allow the police to take samples from suspects for DNA analysis ('A criminal waste of gene genius', 21 March). This may be an intrusion into personal privacy, but the price of not doing so is greater.

The alternative to using DNA samples is fewer rapists being caught. DNA evidence cannot lead to miscarriages of justice, as laboratory errors produce only mismatches between the crime scene's and defendant's DNA, thus favouring the defendant in every case. The first time genetic fingerprinting was used, the defendant's 'confession' was quashed and the real murderer was later caught as a result. If we want safer streets, sacrificing a little privacy is a small price to pay.

Yours faithfully,


London, E3

21 March