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Crime and Security Bill

Part of Bill Presented — Pedicabs Bill – in the House of Commons at 3:34 pm on 18th January 2010.

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Photo of Alan Johnson Alan Johnson The Secretary of State for the Home Department 3:34 pm, 18th January 2010

I told the right hon. Gentleman that I would provide the House with statistics, and I have given two examples. Actually, even if there were only one example of a vicious murderer or rapist being brought to book in this way, I know that many Conservative Members would believe that this was worth doing- [ Interruption. ] Hon. Members are asking me to give names. I will provide the information that the right hon. Gentleman wants, but I have already given the House two very dramatic cases that would not have been solved under the policy being put forward by the Liberal Democrats, which we now know means that no one who is innocent and not convicted could remain on the DNA database.

The position of the Conservatives, as set out in the amendment that you quite rightly did not select, Mr. Speaker, is:

"That this House declines to give a Second Reading to the Crime and Security Bill because the retention of the DNA of innocent citizens, which is the centrepiece of the Bill, is unacceptable."

Yet their policy is to retain the DNA of innocent people. At least the Lib Dems, whose policy on this was overturned at their conference, say that we should not keep anyone's records. At least their policy is clear. The Conservatives' policy is actually contrary to their own amendment. They think that people who have been arrested for, but not convicted of, less serious charges should not remain on the DNA database, but that those who have been arrested for, but not convicted of, serious offences should remain on it. The most recent research shows that there is no difference between the two in regard to what is known as the hazard curve, and to the propensity of those people to be arrested again.

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