Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Children's DNA retention

A flier for a workshop/briefing session on police retention of children's DNA:

Workshop: Should the police keep children’s DNA?
2-4pm 18th December 2006
London School of Economics

ARCH/LSE Information Systems are holding a workshop on a subject of increasing concern: the collection and storage of children’s DNA samples on the National DNA Database.

The Criminal Justice Act 2003 gave the police wide powers to take and store DNA samples from those arrested for most criminal offences. This data is retained on the NDNAD even if the suspect is not charged, or is later acquitted.

Children are particularly affected by DNA retention because of police focus on dealing with ‘volume’ crime. In 2004/2005, almost a quarter of all arrests were of 10-17-year-olds.

Police retention of DNA - especially of children’s DNA - has attracted a great deal of media attention during the past year, the more so because reports suggest that samples are also being used for research purposes.


The Nuffield Council on Bioethics has recently launched a consultation to gather opinions on DNA retention. This will run until the end of January 2007 and they are keen to have responses from as many interested people and organisations as possible. We have several expert speakers to give a thorough briefing on all of the issues. These include:

  • Dr Helen Wallace Deputy Director of Genewatch
  • Dr Mairi Levitt Deputy Director of the ESRC Centre for Economic & Social Aspects of Genomics (CESAGen)
  • A representative of the Nuffield Council on Bioethics (tbc)
As places are very limited, please let us know if you want to attend by emailing: terri@arch-ed.org

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