The high court rejected the application by the man, known only as R, that he should not have to give a sample to officers working for Operation Nutmeg, which targets those convicted of serious offences before the collection of DNA records became routine. That operation is aimed, primarily, at clearing up unsolved historic crimes.
This is a blow to true freedom, and a warning to us all.
Yes, forget for the moment that this man’s a convicted criminal, the lowest of the low – he served his time, and his application was correct, and so should have been granted.
In their judgment, Lord Justice Pitchford and Mr Justice Hickinbottom, sitting in London, said the process was lawful and proportionate.
The judges said the way the request was first made in March was unlawful but on the second occasion the request was legitimate. “[The police inspector] was fully justified in concluding that the public interest in the detection of crime outweighed the limited interference with the claimant’s private life,” Pitchford said.
Really? Well, then, what’s to stop the National DNA database being submitted for serious proposal yet again?
Because what would aid ‘detection of crime’ more than getting hold of ALL our DNA?
Peter Neyroud, the former head of the National Policing Improvement Agency, told BBC Radio before the decision: “Collecting this DNA is worthwhile. It helps solve serious, historic cases. Of the 6,000 samples taken so far there are around 100 matches. I’m sure the police will get something worthwhile in around 50 of these cases. We are talking about pretty serious crimes here.”
Imagine what they’d get if they just sampled us all? We – the innocent members of the public – don’t deserve it any more than those having served their time do.