Police forces across the UK are testing technology that allows officers to analyse DNA samples in custody suites, amid fears that civil liberties could be infringed and evidence compromised.
Patrick Carroll, senior director of international sales at IntegenX, told The Independent he expected to see the technology used in all major UK custody suites in the near future. Although data is currently double-checked by a forensics expert, he said he believed officers could soon input information directly into the national database.
However, civil liberties groups and lawyers yesterday raised a number of concerns.
Emma Carr, director of Big Brother Watch, called for robust and proper public consultation before its use was further implemented. “Laws were changed in the last parliament to attempt to restore some common sense to the way DNA of suspects is gathered,” she said.
“Yet this message has not been heeded by police forces who, by using this sort of technology, continue to ensure that the UK’s DNA database remains one of the largest in the world. There has been little to no information given about the fact that these sorts of tests are being carried out and what checks are in place.”
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