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Counter-Terrorism Bill

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 2:30 pm on 9th October 2008.

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Photo of Lord Harris of Haringey Lord Harris of Haringey Labour 2:30 pm, 9th October 2008

I have been concerned at the tone of this debate. I apologise to the noble Baroness that I did not hear her opening remarks, but I have listened to the responses, and there seems automatically to be an assumption that holding this material in databases is necessarily damaging to liberty. I should like to remind the Committee of the substantial number of instances in which cold cases have been solved because of data that can now be accessed through DNA databases and fingerprints.

As I understand it, the noble Baroness's amendment simply seeks a clear statement of how the rules currently work. That would be helpful. I suspect that there is a lot of misinformation and confusion about how the current rules on fingerprints and DNA samples operate. Something which sets that out might be valuable in terms of the quality of public debate.