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DNA database plans based on 'flawed science', warn experts

Press clipping: Research

Publication date19/07/09

Flawed scientific thinking" in the government's proposed changes to the DNA database will leave it open to further challenges by the courts, experts have said, in a stark attack on Home Office plans to overhaul the current system.

The proposals, set out as part of a government consultation after the existing DNA database was found in breach of human rights last year, are based on exaggerated scientific claims and ignore the realities of persistent offending, two leading criminologists have said. "There is a flaw in the scientific evidence that sustains the government's argument," said Keith Soothill, emeritus professor of social research at Lancaster University.

Soothill and fellow professor Brian Francis last week published a paper arguing that key aspects of the government's proposals – which change the current periods for retaining DNA from all people arrested to six years, and 12 years for serious and violent crime arrests – have not been proved.

References

Original titleDNA database plans based on 'flawed science', warn experts
AuthorAfua Hirsch
MediaGuardian
URLRead full text version