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UK Police Want DNA of 'Potential Offenders' 578

mrogers writes "British police want to collect DNA samples from children as young as five who 'exhibit behavior indicating they may become criminals in later life'. A spokesman for the Association of Chief Police Officers argued that since some schools already take pupils' fingerprints, the collection and permanent storage of DNA samples was the logical next step. And of course, if anyone argues that branding naughty five-year-olds as lifelong criminals will stigmatize them, the proposed solution will be to take samples from all children."
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UK Police Want DNA of 'Potential Offenders'

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  • by LecheryJesus ( 1245812 ) on Sunday March 16, 2008 @06:53PM (#22768280)
    Which moron modded the parent Troll?? - The comment was probably intended as sarcasm. Should be Insightful imho. Oh and anyone with tag privileges, tag this one Nazism, beucase that's exactly what it is.
  • by bargainsale ( 1038112 ) on Sunday March 16, 2008 @07:05PM (#22768372)
    That's a large part of the issue.

    The UK database contains the DNA of people who've been arrested even when then they're later released uncharged or acquitted.
    It is almost impossible to get your record deleted when you are acquitted in England and Wales (but not in Scotland).
    So unless you believe that the police only ever arrest the guilty, perhaps you will begin to understand what's making people jumpy.
  • Re:And? (Score:5, Informative)

    by BSAtHome ( 455370 ) on Sunday March 16, 2008 @07:06PM (#22768388)
    Sure you have nothing to hide. You submitted a DNA sample of your neighbor and passed it along as your own. Instead of you have nothing to hide, you are non-existent. A nice prospect to keep below the radar.
  • by TheVelvetFlamebait ( 986083 ) on Sunday March 16, 2008 @08:02PM (#22768816) Journal
    From Wikipedia: []

    Among the key elements of Nazism were anti-parliamentarism, ethnic nationalism, racism, collectivism, eugenics, antisemitism, opposition to economic liberalism and political liberalism, a racially-defined and conspiratorial view of finance capitalism, anti-communism, and totalitarianism.
    What about this proposition makes it synonymous with nazism? It's surveillance and a breach of privacy (assuming you have any over in the ol' UK). The worst part of nazism wasn't the "papers please" aspect of the Hitler regime, rather the racism, the oppression (not quite the same as surveillance), and the eventual genocide. The privacy breach is a footnote at best.
  • by FailedTheTuringTest ( 937776 ) on Sunday March 16, 2008 @08:03PM (#22768828)
    This is called the Pygmalion effect []. The test results change the teacher's expectations, and the teacher's expectations influence the kids' future performance. It has also been shown that teachers have different expectations of children based on race and sex, which affect children's performance as they fulfill these expectations. But it's a widespread phenomenon outside the classroom as well.
  • Re:And? (Score:2, Informative)

    by crymeph0 ( 682581 ) on Sunday March 16, 2008 @09:03PM (#22769162)
    That sucks. Now I have to boycott two summer Olympics in a row.

    Seriously, if you're going to consider boycotting China over their dismal actions, why not our alleged ally who slips closer to a police state every day?
  • Re:Fucked up kids? (Score:3, Informative)

    by ckaminski ( 82854 ) <slashdot-nospam@ ... m minus physicis> on Sunday March 16, 2008 @09:05PM (#22769168) Homepage
    I've read 1984... several times in fact. One of the largest themes of the novel was living in a surveillance society, not private, but government mandated. Each TV was both a publisher and a recorder of what was before it. The other big theme was people betraying those who expressed concepts against INGSOC.

    This is pretty damn contemporary with 1984, think.
  • by digitig ( 1056110 ) on Sunday March 16, 2008 @09:26PM (#22769304)

    For some, it's the slippery-slope:
    First they collected DNA from sex criminals.
    Then they collected DNA from felons.
    Then they collected DNA from all criminals.
    Then they collected DNA from people who get speeding tickets.
    Then they collected DNA from people who drive.
    Then they collected DNA from everyone else.
    We're between steps 3 and 4 on your list here in the UK, which is nearly the end of the list. The police collect and retain DNA if you are arrested, even if not subsequently charged. Remember that guy recently who was arrested for being in posession of a mobile phone in a public place? Because the police say that somebody thought it was a gun? If they can arrest for that and get DNA, they can already get any adult's DNA they want to. The new thing here is that they want kids DNA too.
  • Re:So what? (Score:3, Informative)

    by nevali ( 942731 ) on Monday March 17, 2008 @04:04AM (#22770960) Homepage
    You obviously missed the last eight-ten years of British political history, then.

    When it comes to oppressive ideas in the name of preventing crime (or even better, use the word "terrorism"), two of the three main political parties in the UK are happy to lap up whatever crazy idea ACPO will come up with.

    Fortunately, we also have the Lords: it seems bizarre to many people, but many of those in the Lords have no real political agenda, because they're there not as a career choice, but as a product of circumstance; as a result, they're the most unbiased political instrument in the machine, and have turned over many a ridiculous idea that's successfully passed muster in the Commons.
  • Re:US politics... (Score:3, Informative)

    by ichigo 2.0 ( 900288 ) on Monday March 17, 2008 @05:35AM (#22771304)

    Romney does well because most people think that Mormonism is a Christian religion.
    That's because it is.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 17, 2008 @08:42AM (#22772202)

    My son is 11. He was punched by a 12 year old girl. He reflexively slapped her on the knee and yelled at her to not hit him. He now has a police record. To be fair the girl also has a police record now too and both children were interviewed by police in a gang violence investigation. I'm told it is routine now for the police to interview and take statements from children when any violence occurs in US schools. Everyone in authority has told me not to make a fuss over this.

    My son has now been branded as violent for having made one out burst in response to violence. He has been severely punished for this and will be severely punished for any violent behavior. You'll just have to believe me when I say that he has never done anything like this before.

    Should his DNA be profiled? Does this outburst indicate a potential to join a gang? Is this what happens to white children in white schools?

    We are entering into a society where every action and every statement will be recorded. Every thing you do will point back to you. I don't think this is racism. I think this is fascism. When I was a boy I was beaten and less happened to the people that beat me than what has happened to my son for asserting himself.

The shortest distance between two points is under construction. -- Noelie Alito