Last Nights Crimewatch

  babybell 12:33 30 Jun 2009

Some very distressing stories on last night but what got me was the fact that in two stories they actually had the DNA of the attackers they were after but they needed to find out who it is.

One case of three attacks on women by one man took place in a 1 mile radius and so they are actually going to visit the 9000 houses in the area a take DNA samples of all Asian men in the area (the attacker was described as an Asian man in this instance)

Surely a simpler way would be to have a DNA database, then a lot of these sad cases can get dealt with in a matter of days instead of weeks, days and even years!

If you haven't got anything to hide then what is the problem?

  Stuartli 13:32 30 Jun 2009

There IS a DNA database.

The problem is that too many people have their DNA taken for the most minor offences - or even having committed no offence at all - thus wrongly invading their rights and privacy.

See (just for starters):

click here

click here

By the way, I think most forum members may well have been watching Andy Murray last night - there were more than 12m viewers accrding to the BBC.

  DieSse 13:41 30 Jun 2009

How about if we were all chipped and our movements monitored 24/7 - then there'd be no problem at all.

No?? - I thought not.

  babybell 13:48 30 Jun 2009

There is a huge difference in being chipped and simply having everyones DNA on record. A database that could tell police who to arrest straight away. How you can compare this to having our movements monitored 24/7 is beyond me.

Stuartli. I agree there is already a database, but if your a first time attacker, it isnt really a lot of help. Whereas if everyone had their DNA on there already, problem solved. Like I said previously, if you dont do anything wrong then you'll have to no reason to worry.

  interzone55 14:07 30 Jun 2009

DNA evidence is not totally infallible and is only used in court when backed up with other compelling evidence.

Unfortunately life is not like CSI...

  OTT_Buzzard 14:08 30 Jun 2009

I accidentally ended up watching Crimewatch last night, while intending to watch a program on Britain's 1950's eating habits.

While I agree there were some very disturbing reports last night, the need for a mass population DNA database needs to be treated with a great deal of trepidation.

The risks of having such a database, in my opinion, by far out weigh the benefits for arresting suspects for crimes. Bear in mind that it's unlikely to help with reducing crime and locating the suspect is a another matter.

I don't think there's a wouldbe criminal out there that isn't aware of forensic DNA capabilities and yet DNA is still found at crime scenes even from repeat offenders, let alone newbies to a life of crime.

As for the risks; lets say there was a robbery at your local post office on Saturday and DNA samples are taken from the crime scene. You had been in the post office a few weeks earlier and left your DNA. You are now a suspect. Now it comes down to pure chance that you can prove your whereabouts during the crime and that you had no involvement.
Of course, if you employ enough police and other background resources then you could most likely be eliminated quite quickly but that would require *massive* ongoing costs. Who pays for that?

And how would such a database be made secure and not liable for abuse? Already the government ask for DNA samples of all new born babies although the parent(s) can refuse. The claim is that the DNA is used for research although nobody has ever managed to tell me what research is being conducted. It would only take a small change in the law for all DNA on a national database to be put to whatever use the government deems fit*. Biological weapons research perhaps? That's into the realms of conspiracy thoery know, but I'm just making a point.

* so there would be an uproar and a case would be brought before the EU court of human rights, anyone want to guarantee the outcome?

  OTT_Buzzard 14:14 30 Jun 2009

"A database that could tell police who to arrest straight away"

By any current standards, it can take several weeks to process (increasing as more samples will need to be analysed).

  babybell 14:27 30 Jun 2009

My use of the term "straight away" refers to when the results are in. Police will get a 99.9% match with 1 person in the world. They can arrest this person AND THEN interview them and obtain more evidence, instead of asking the nation for appeals to even find out who done it in the 1st place.

  Stuartli 14:58 30 Jun 2009

Then, if caught, the DNA would more than likely be compared to any found on a victim or victims.

I'm not against a DNA database, but I would object to the utmost of my ability if there was any intention of including me on it merely on a Government whim to maximise the numbers on the database.

We are quietly and gradually descending into a totalitarian state and the general public's apathy towards the situation is very disturbing.

  Forum Editor 18:05 30 Jun 2009

that contained a large text quote pasted from a Wikipedia article. Please do NOT post great slabs of text from Wikipedia. There can be complex copyright issues involved, and I don't want us to be exposed in that way.

  Forum Editor 18:07 30 Jun 2009

into a totalitarian state"

If you think that's the case you obviously haven't had any experience of what a real totalitarian state is. We're about as far from being one as I am from winning the mens' final at Wimbledon.

This thread is now locked and can not be replied to.

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