Record numbers added to DNA database

A record 722,000 people were added to the DNA database last year, it has been revealed.

The number led to angry accusations from opposition parties and civil liberties groups that the government is creating the world’s biggest DNA database “by stealth”.

“Rarely has so much effort been made to collect so much intrusive and irrelevant data,” said Lib Dem home affairs spokesman Chris Huhne.

Civil libertarians are growing increasingly anxious about the database, which grows by around 30,000 samples a month and contained four million records at the end of 2006.

But chief constable Peter Neyroud of the National Police Improvement Agency (NPIA) stood by the database.

“The national DNA database is a key intelligence tool which has revolutionised the way the police can protect the public through identifying offenders and securing more convictions,” he told politics.co.uk.

Phil Booth, national coordinator of No2ID, told politics.co.uk: “To keep millions of innocent or uncharged people on a criminal database is itself criminal.”

The police take a DNA sample whenever anyone is detained or arrested by police, but the records are kept even if the person is not subsequently charged.