DNA profiles (Supplementary) [5]

Session date: 
November 19, 2003
Question By: 
Richard Barnes
GLA Conservatives
Asked Of: 
The Mayor


I have always supported a national database for DNA and I believe that my party would as well, had there been a proper and full debate about it. But I believe that Lord Harris is being disingenuous and you are displaying a certain amount of ignorance this morning. It is the Criminal Justice Bill to start with, not the Crime and Disorder Bill. It was lost by 29 votes, the not contents were 130 and the contents were 101, so I am sure it could be brought back into the House of Commons where there is a majority of Socialists.

But this talks about people being detained. You could be drunk in a pub, you could be foul-mouthed and be detained by the police and end up having your DNA taken. This is the introduction of a full national database, which I fully support, by the back door. What this devious little Government must do is agree to have the full and proper debate so that the civil liberties issues that Lynne Featherstone has alluded to, so that other people's concerns can be registered. Do not try and slip it in as a clause within a Criminal Justice Bill.

Surely, you coming from your background would support a proper and full debate of this and then going forward to establish it.

Supplementary To: 


Answer for DNA profiles (Supplementary) [5]

Answer for DNA profiles (Supplementary) [5]

Answered By: 
The Mayor

Can I just say a debate and vote in Parliament, in both houses, is a full debate. The back door would be doing this by some late-night statutory order where there is about 20 minutes to discuss it. This is a full debate. What more do you want than having it as part of the Crime and Disorder Bill, and you are absolutely right that is not the correct term in terms of Parliamentary procedure, but that is what it is known as in terms of the general public debate around it.