Skip to main content

UK DNA Database Reaches 4.8 million, grows by 660,000 every year

More details about the growing tendency of the UK government to log, track and catalog its citizens have been provided by the National Policing Improvement Agency in its first annual report.

According to the NPIA and the Telegraph (opens in new tab), the police took nearly 1 million samples in since March 2007, that amounts to nearly 28,000 per month, a substantial amount of whom have yet to commit any crime (although some have voluntarily given their DNA sample in a police inquiry).

Nearly four out of five on records are from men, with more than forty percent aged between 15 and 24, and according to the report, more than 44,000 samples from crime scenes have been matched with DNA database in the 12 months to 2007, something which NPIA head Peter Neyroud said would revolutionise police procedure.

By the end of this year, it is estimated that one in every 12 UK citizens will be tagged and catalogued in this giant database.

Astonishingly, 350,000 of those DNA profiles - roughly eight percent - came from children aged 14 or less, highlighting the growing problem linked to criminalisation of the younger generation.

This has prompted Chris Huhne, shadow home secretary for the Lib-Dem Party, to say that much of the information in the database is "intrusive and irrelevant" while Shami Chakrabarti of Liberty said she was shocked but not surprised.

Désiré Athow

Désiré has been musing and writing about technology during a career spanning four decades. He dabbled in website building and web hosting when DHTML and frames were en vogue and started writing about the impact of technology on society just before the start of the Y2K hysteria at the turn of the last millennium. Following an eight-year stint at where he discovered the joys of global tech-fests, Désiré now heads up TechRadar Pro. Previously he was a freelance technology journalist at Incisive Media, Breakthrough Publishing and Vnunet, and Business Magazine. He also launched and hosted the first Tech Radio Show on Radio Plus.