At least 100, 000 innocent young people alleged to be on the National DNA Database

At least 100,000 children and young people who have not committed any criminal offence have their details recorded on the National DNA Database it was alleged today.

Action on Rights for Children and GeneWatch UK said that more than 80, 000 innocent children and young people were arrested in England and Wales and added to the database in the past year alone.

DNA can be taken without consent from anyone aged ten or above, on arrest for most offences. The charities said that the computerised DNA profiles and original DNA samples were kept permanently even if people were never charged or acquitted.

Terri Dowty, director of Action on Rights for Children, said: “These are shocking statistics. These children will be on the database for the rest of their lives. This means that whenever their DNA is found at a crime scene, they will have to be prepared to justify themselves. We are turning thousands of innocent children into lifelong suspects.”

GeneWatch UK and Action on Rights for Children argue that only those convicted of serious, violent offences should have their records kept permanently on the database.

England and Wales are the only countries in the world which keep DNA samples and profiles from innocent people and those convicted of minor offences for life.

How many innocent children are being added to the National DNA Database?

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