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Letter: Don't let them bar code our bodies; Voice of the North.


WE in the Liberal Party are astounded that Lord Justice Sedley has called for the universal registration of every citizen's DNA on a national, compulsory DNA database.

As if the Government's plans for identity cards were not bad enough it is now suggested that we should register the very essence of ourselves with the state, reducing all of us to a bar code held by an over-mighty state. This government would do well to remember that it is the state which belongs to its citizens not vice versa.

We would agree with Lord Justice Sedley to the extent that the current scheme is wholly arbitrary and unfair. At present arrest is sufficient for your DNA to be added to the database whether or not you are ever found guilty of any crime.

Fairness could be introduced by limiting the taking of DNA samples to those convicted of a crime, not by extending the scheme and forcing everyone to register. It seems to have escaped everyone's notice that a universal DNA database is likely to lead to miscarriages of justice and the wasting of police time as criminals would be able to leave false DNA "trails" at crime scenes by doing as little as scattering a few hairs around.

The "nothing to hide, nothing to fear" argument is founded on a false premise.

It assumes that it is right for the citizen to answer to the state.

The vast majority of people would have nothing to hide if the police turned up at their house and carried out a search, but this is not an argument for giving the police such powers!

It is the state which should answer to its citizens, always, and down any other path tryanny lies.

This Government has taken enough liberties, don't let them bar code our bodies as well.

DANIEL WOOD, Chairman of the Policy Committee, The Liberal Party
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Title Annotation:Letters
Publication:The Journal (Newcastle, England)
Date:Sep 7, 2007
Previous Article:The Journal: A problem which must be solved.
Next Article:Letter: Serious issues raised beyond poll pledge; Voice of the North.

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