patricia gallan 100
MERSEYSIDE police chiefs last night ordered the removal of a seven-year-old child’s DNA from a controversial national database.
It followed the revelation in yesterday’s Daily Post that the child’s DNA had been put on the National DNA Database (NDNAD), a decision attacked by civil liberties campaign groups.
The information was released under the Freedom of Information Act.
Following the revelation, Merseyside police said the seven-year-old’s DNA had been held because of “extraordinary circumstances”.
Assistant Chief Constable Patricia Gallan said: “The DNA of a seven-year-old child should never have been stored on the database, rather it should have been utilised as an elimination sample only.
“The background to the holding of DNA of a seven-year-old on the national database requires explanation of the extraordinary circumstances.
“The DNA was taken as part of a criminal investigation into a sibling’s abandonment.
“The DNA of the seven-year-old was taken with the full and written consent of the mother. As a result of this, the DNA was loaded on to the national database and the case was solved.
“The DNA of this child proved crucial to the investigation.
“That said, having personally reviewed the case, whilst the law may allow police to store this child’s DNA lawfully, I do not believe that it either serves the child’s best interests or natural justice and I have ordered its immediate removal.”
The National Policing Improvement Agency (NPIA) provided the information to the Daily Post – but refused to reveal the age of the youngest person from Cheshire whose DNA was added to the controversial database.
The NPIA said that, in respect of the information relating to Cheshire Constabulary, it “would undermine criminal proceedings”, and added: “In all the circumstances of the Cheshire case, the public interest in maintaining the exemptions outweighs the public interest in disclosing the information.
“However, the public interest maintaining the exemption in the Merseyside case is much less strong and, on balance, falls in favour of disclosure.”
Earlier this year, the Daily Post revealed that almost one in 10 people on Merseyside have their genetic profile stored on the national DNA database, following another Freedom of Information Act disclosure.
It has also been disclosed that the DNA profiles of more than 6,000 youngsters from across Merseyside and Cheshire are on the Home Office’s database.