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Counter-Terrorism Bill

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 3:15 pm on 9th October 2008.

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Photo of Earl Ferrers Earl Ferrers Conservative 3:15 pm, 9th October 2008

Perhaps the Minister will clarify something. I apologise for not having taken part in this debate previously, but I have followed the anxieties about the clause that have been expressed in newspapers. I cannot quite see what all the fuss is about. As I understand it, if a person is thought to have committed an offence, he can have his DNA and other samples taken. The argument is whether the police should be allowed to keep it. The Government interfere horribly and far too much with all our private lives and this is a very sensitive issue. However, if the police keep a person's DNA, what does that matter unless they subsequently commit a crime? If they commit a crime, whether it is a terrorist crime or whatever, the DNA is available to help to find them. If they have not committed a crime, they have nothing to worry about. The idea of the police hanging on to those samples sounds terribly intrusive, but, unless a person commits a crime, the samples will not be of any use.