back to article Top Jock cop calls for universal DNA database

The Chief Constable of Scotland's largest police force, Strathclyde, is calling for all Scots to be put on the DNA database. Stephen House wants all samples kept forever - the Scottish system currently removes profiles from people acquitted of crimes or never charged. He suggested all newborn babies should have a sample taken …


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  1. Anonymous Coward

    Of course if would.

    It'd make them easier to catch even if they hadn't committed a crime at all.


  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Crazy pigs using lowest common denominator to justify their crazy plans. Shame I already live in England, we set the low water mark for freedom, honesty, efficency, productivity and invetigative ability, and the rest of Europe shall use us a shinning beacon of oppression for all to follow into the night.

    But at least he's using the old adage "if it's worth doing it's worth doing right" even if the end result is a useless piss poor pot. No longer will inevstigators have to use a fine scalple to find excellent results - instead they shall throw a sausage down a wide ally in the hope that it hits the sides to fit someone up.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Dead Vulture

    in other news...

    "Chief Constable of Scotland's largest police force stoned to death by angry mob"

  4. Iain

    This just reinforces what I've always thought...

    That under no circumstances should anyone, ever, give credence to any of our boys in blue who court the press. We pay these clowns to do a simple job, apply the law; the law made by those we elect. We can at least vote those twats out when the laws they create go bad (that means you Brown). But where, prithee, would we be if we gave the 'polis' every new power they asked for?

    Might I politely suggest that Mr House take himself back to 1930's Germany where he clearly belongs.

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  6. Pete

    As a Scot in exile...

    all I can do is agree. What a bampot. Hopefully the idea will be blasted from the sky by the shotguns of common sense and public outrage.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    An "alibi"

    is a "plea of having been elsewhere at the time when any alleged act took place". Even the weakened sense of an "excuse" doesn't match with "infecting a crime scene with someone else's DNA".

    I suppose there are two main approaches here:

    1. Put the DNA from a particular person at the scene in order to divert police attention onto that person.

    2. Scatter dust collected from the London Underground over the crime scene, i.e. DNA from thousands of people. If they do find your DNA and you get charged you can dismiss the DNA evidence by pointing out that you are just one of thousands whose DNA was found.

    The difference is that in the second case you are not trying to hide the fact that the DNA record was deliberately polluted.

    I don't know how you want to call these two techniques (no doubt the criminal classes will soon invent terms if they don't already have them) but I don't think "alibi" is a good start.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Black Helicopters

    Or better yet...

    Why not tag them all at birth, should save some time.

    Actually, as they're more than likely to commit a crime at some point, let's cut out the middle man and lock them up as soon as they leave the womb. It's the only way to be sure.

    AC - because THEY're watching.

  9. Neil Barnes Silver badge
    Paris Hilton

    That's right, assume we're guilty...

    Find me, *then* use DNA on site as corroborating evidence. And if it wasn't me, delete my file - DNA, fingerprints, the lot.

    I'm getting increasingly annoyed about this...

    Paris, because she's allowed to collect my DNA

  10. Anonymous Coward

    I ♥ Big Brother

    Has the good constable trotted out the "If you have nothing to hide line yet"

    And course there are no such things as false positives

  11. ElFatbob

    Not surprising really...

    as this CC is angling for the top Met job after his tenure at Strathclyde and it looks as though he is trying to please his prospective political masters (i.e. Westminster, not Holyrood).

    How the feck did we end up in this 1984 society?

  12. Simon.W

    Pig ignorant

    nuff said

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down


    'Jock'? Seriously? The article is fine but thumbs down for the language choice...

  14. Wonderkid

    Passing the blame here...

    ...he is admitting that New Labor's touchy feely leftist policies are not working, but rather than simply put more police on the beat, he wants technology to be used as a substitute. How convenient - yet how dangerous - for reasons already highlighted by other Reg readers above.

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    What abuse?

    With widespread use people will be more familiar with DNA at trial and it'll acquire the status such evidence deserves. That is, rather more limited than it is now.

    The Alibi guy, well yes, that would de-value the evidence, but the risk that someone has managed to do that successfully hardly devalues the entire database concept. Besides, it depends where they got the DNA sample if it's blood from broken glass then you still have a problem.

    False positives would still be subject to explanations and alibis. With a massive use of DNA evidence it would lose its magic and a conviction on DNA alone would be very hard.

    Of course, visitors would have to be sampled too, after all, when you have large numbers of samples the risk of a chance match increases.

    So, really the question is how will it be abused?

    Not particularly in favour of it, not least because of the hassle of going down the station to leave a sample.

    @A Baird : I'm now, finally, ashamed to be a sweaty sock.

    Isn't that rhyming slang for a cock?

  16. scott

    Anyone seen Dexter?

    Of course, Plod *always* has an excuse for leaving their DNA at the scene of a crime.Anyone seen Dexter??

    I saw that in SassenachLand the PlodAssociation refuse to allow their members DNA to be profiled/handed over to private companies for 'research purposes', but it's OK for everyone else's to be.

    I wonder if the Scottish Federation feels the same way?? I guess so.

    Britain really has turned into a 'them v us' Authoritarian State. Sure, it doesn't have the jackboots - but in some ways that makes it worse. Glad I left a few years ago.

    BTW - a retired Scots cop told me all the senior cops are now known as "Eternal Flames"; i.e like the flames you see at war in 'never been out'.

    So even the rank and file think their top bosses are useless politicians!

  17. David Pollard

    Remember Shirley McKie

    It would be interesting to know what has actually been done to correct the demonstrable flaws in the criminal justice system before introducing another supposedly foolproof indicator of guilt.

  18. Les Matthew

    Re: 'Jock'?

    What do you expect from a bunch of southern fairies? ;)

  19. Pete

    Re: 'Jock'

    I'm proud to be called a "Jock", aren't you? But it does make El Reg appear anglo-centric, or even London-centric. If the bampot in question had been the chief of an English force, would the title have been "Top Limey cop...", or maybe "Top Sassenach cop..."? - I think not. It's bad enough having trolls here without the authors providing their fair share of trolling activity themselves.

  20. Graham Marsden

    Oh look...

    ... it's another Policeman claiming that our freedoms such as that pesky Presumption of Innocence are less important than something that might make their jobs a bit easier or, at least, let them accuse someone of a crime because their DNA was found at a crime scene and then effectively demand the suspect prove their innocence...

    Mine's the one with the Citizen Number and DNA Barcode on the back.

  21. Anonymous Coward

    DNA - The new silver-bullet to cure all crime in our time...


    We leave our DNA scattered around all over the place - shedding hair, shedding dead skin - and it is easily reused and left someplace else.

    Furthermore, we are expected to believe that the DNA database (like the ID Database) won't ever get compromised.

    The DNA (and ID) database will never be abused by anyone that has authorised access - 'cos our plods are all so very noble - The Guildford 4 and Birmingham 6 were just blemishes on an otherwise stainless record...

    The Criminals would never circumvent or game the system... because they respect the law so much...

    The DNA (and ID) database will never be subject to mission/scope creep....

    But because we are so afraid of the Terrorists, the Pedophiles, the Drugs etc, we NEED it to protect us... like life wasn't functioning without it.

  22. anarchic-teapot

    Re: 'Jock'?

    Damn right. I'd be embarrassed to see a twerp like him classified as a real Scotsman. However, in this case the word is possibly being using in the American sense of a large beefy prat who thinks with the contents of his underwear.

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  24. Anonymous Coward
    Black Helicopters

    Geheime Staatspolizei - working in the United Kingdom

    So those that fought against Nazi tyranny did so in vain!

    When will the police & politicians finally realise that they cannot keep erode our liberties without getting a backlash from the public. There is no point in the police trying to convince us that it is for the best, because more & more of us are becoming resentful of their heavy-handed tactics.

    At the "Bulldog Bash" (biker fest) at Long Marston Warwickshire police have closed surrounding roads to ensure that only one entrance is available. The ACC of Warwickshire stated that this was to to allow them to search all vehicles and people entering. Never mind the inconvenience that other members of the public are put to!

    When will these wallies realize that they should be out catching criminals not controlling us.

    Black helicopter because it's the cop's "Eye in the sky".

  25. john oates

    top jock

    Apologies to anyone offended by Jock in the headline - it wasn't meant to be derogatory - I wouldn't want to upset our Edinburgh office apart from anything else...

  26. James

    Eternal Flames - never been out

    is that:

    a) on the beat?

    b) of the closet?

    my coat's in the closet

  27. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @A Baird

    The numerous "jock" references have given me the required insight now... ;)

    > 'Oi, get that sweaty sock outta my face!'

    So said when you have a Scotsman attached to your face?

    Never really had that problem.... Must be a forces thing...

  28. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Stephen House

    Stephen House is obviously a supporter of the Police State that the UK has become. Mr House should keep his big mouth shut and get on with Policing. Seems his force cannot do its job properly or else he would not need to rely on DNA. What has changed that suddenly they need DNA database for everyone ?

  29. Mike Richards Silver badge

    @ Anonymous Coward

    'When will the police & politicians finally realise that they cannot keep erode our liberties without getting a backlash from the public.'

    Y'know, I'm not sure the British people have a limit. Year after year more and more liberties are taken away and hardly anyone gives a crap - ask people about DNA databases and they regurgitate the 'Crimewatch' line.

    I'm sure its down to three things:

    1: the crap educational level of the average Briton who knows nothing about - oooh the law, politics, history (and the rest);

    2: the fact we don't have a written constitution - take the US, most Americans know what their rights are (in the broadest sense) and where to find them. Who here knows the relevant pieces of legislation that gives us our very limited rights; and;

    3: we've never been under a domestic dictatorship or occupied by a foreign power - go to mainland Europe and they all have personal experience or recent family experience of what its like to have a secret police force, detention without trial, the removal of undesirables etc.

    Put those three together and you have a smug, complacent, thick-as-pigshit population who can be exploited by anyone with an agenda.

    This country is broken, time to take it back and demand a new one.

  30. David Neil

    F### Right off!

    If those corrupt, incompetant clowns can turn on one of their own (Shirley McKie), do everything in their power to ignore complaints of assault by one of their own ( then what chance to the plebs in the street have?

  31. Steve

    Re: Bulldog Bash

    "At the "Bulldog Bash" (biker fest) at Long Marston Warwickshire police have closed surrounding roads to ensure that only one entrance is available. The ACC of Warwickshire stated that this was to to allow them to search all vehicles and people entering. Never mind the inconvenience that other members of the public are put to!"

    Then you might want to take some direction from the Climate Camp. They decided that waiting 1-4 hours to be searched and have their camping gear confiscated went a little bit beyond being "detained for a brief period" (as plod are allowed to) so about a hundred or so people just ignored them and entered the camp.

    There's not really a lot they can do when people, en masse, refuse to acknowledge their authority - especially if it happens to be a load of bikers rather than hippies.

  32. Anonymous Coward

    What do you have to hide???

    ... we are all guilty something it is only a matter of time before the storm troopers come knocking...

    I'll get me coat and leave the country 'cos this is now a police state where all need to be sampled, tagged, scanned, televised, and in the end bagged by a police force who believe we are all guilty of something.

  33. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    who is keeping an eye on them?

    I would not be against a system whereby all filth had to be filmed when on duty at all times by a third party and we could watch online to decide if they were up to scratch. Then vote them out if not. Also, publish their home addresses online.

    After all, if they've got nothing to hide.

  34. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @woohoo By Anonymous Coward

    Let's hope that mandatory DNA sampling isn't brought in for offences of criminal spelling... :-)

  35. Anonymous Coward


    Interesting comments... as has been pointed out on El Reg quite a few times now, because of the "Edmond Davies bump", over half (53%) of the entire Police Service will be leaving over the next 5 years... even Asst Commissioner Tarique Ghaffur acknowledges that 40% of current serving Met officers will be gone by the time the 2012 Olympics comes round... So, implement your ideas, thus ensuring there won't actually be any policing of the Olympics at all. But I wonder if "grahame" or his mates will be stepping forward to volunteer for the task...?

    The reality is, you're going to have fun with all of the foreign civilian security staff who WILL be doing the "policing"... at least it will give you genuine cause to complain that you've been given a hard time by them, as an alternative to moaning about the police! :-)

    Half of the UK Police Service will now get their coats...

  36. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @Sweaty Sock

    That'll be one of those ones with a billiard ball in it then?

  37. Anonymous Coward


    " thinks with the contents of his underwear."

    errr...thinks with his "skid mark"????

  38. johnB

    Next Step...

    Surely is to have our National Insurance Numbers tattood in a convenient location (say on the inside of the wrist).

    Can't think why it's not been done before...

  39. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @anonymous coward

    Interesting facts. The police in Merseyside are so overwhelmed with applications they take 1 in 200. I don't see any shortage just yet.

    I'll leave signing up for such a worthless shower to those who admire them so much.

  40. Steen Hive
    Thumb Down


    As a Jock I cordially offer to pull down the top-jock-cops jocks and provide a sample of my DNA up the jocksie. How's that sound, you fascist swine?

  41. Anonymous Coward

    @Mike Richards

    Testify! Sing It Loud!

    *\. Mines the one with a Rage Against The Machine Album in the pocket with the line 'it has to happen somewhere, it has to happen sometime - what better place than here, what better time than now!' highlighted in the song sheet.

  42. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @David Neil

    How can they be corrupt AND turn on one of their own? Surely the fact that they suspected even a police officer shows no one is above the law?

    But the point is fingerprints were no more of a magic bullet than DNA evidence. neither are 100% reliable and jurys need to understand that and give them the _appropriate_ consideration.


    You think police don't show up on CCTV as well? Its a double edged sword that way.


    "What has changed that suddenly they need DNA database for everyone"

    There are an increasing number of offences and a decreasing number of police to detect and investigate them?

  43. Mark

    Missed out on the subtext

    "Jock's Trap For Underworld".

  44. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I think

    Think that this would not go over to well here in the US. We've shot politician for less

  45. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Apart from the odd vague harumph there's not really any sound reason to oppose this..

    I suppose the question is, would it actually improve the clear-up rate?

  46. Chris G Silver badge

    @ Mike Richards

    Well said, every so often the question is raised in parliament for the formation of a British constitution and is always thrown out. Our nanny state masters would have a much harder time introducing the ridiculous controls they do if the population had a constitution to refer back to.

    As for a Scottish DNA database, I wonder what William Wallace's reaction would have been?

  47. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    just addressing some things..

    I (too) wondered for a minute.. if he was English would it be mentioned? But TO BE FAIR I think the reason for his Scottishness being mentioned is because Scottish law is the exception ...He is proposing a change to Scottish law..

    I hope so anyway, as I'm already aware of quite a bit of anti-Scottishness or at least constant belittling whenever Scotland or Gordon Brown is mentioned. (Mostly by posters not authors) His nationality must ALWAYS be pointed out.

    Gordon Brown; not a man, not simply the UK Prime Minister like Tony Blair was. No, a Scottish man. A Scottish man who dares to be in charge of the UK/England. A complete idiot, someone who has managed to ruin Britain in months, compared to the Saint that was Tony Blair.

    The worst PM ever, announced after mere days as the front man.

    Anyway, as for the title...? I can understand that some people might not know the word 'Jock' is offensive to Scots. It's not so much the word that is offensive (many people don't find it offensive) It's really what or who is behind it. It's almost exclusively used by English people towards Scots, and almost always in a negative way. Which is part of the problem here. It's a negative story and uses the word Jock thus there is suspicion/anger. Hope that clears it up a bit.

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  49. bob_blah

    So how much is the bounty...

    .... to get a copy of Mr House's DNA profile? Could be worth a lot of money to a criminal. Because he would be the first person to have his DNA put on record permanently wouldn't he? That's how the system will work right? All police officers and their families will be done first right?

    In fact now that I think about it, selling your DNA to a criminal could be a whole new economy. You give them some skin flakes, they liberally sprinkle them around the crime scene, and commit the crime whilst you're having a dinner party with twelve friends.

    Now if only I was in the US I could patent that business model.

  50. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @Math Campbell

    I'd like to hear more about that policy you mentioned to stifle the Scottish economy. Is anything online?

  51. Anonymous Coward

    Welcome to the People's Republic of Scotland

    Chief Constable Stalin speaking.

    What a twat! Strathclyde Police haven't needed DNA evidence to fit people up before, so why do they need it now all of a sudden?

    I despair for the old country, I really do. Ruined by socialism and soon, no doubt, to be completely and utterly destroyed by the likes of the Chief Constable there.

    Never mind, I'm coming to the conclusion that I will have to leave this sceptic isle in the not-too-distant future because I've an aversion to being DNA sampled and ID'ed by people who are about as corrupt as they come in any third world dictatorship you care to mention. If I had the cash, I'd be long gone by now.

    Take my advice people, flee, flee!

  52. Anonymous Coward
    Black Helicopters

    So all I have to do is...

    ...collect DNA from random people (shouldn't be too hard, a bit of hair here, an accidental scrape of somebody there), and toss it haphazardly around the scene after I've committed a crime?


    AC, because they're always watching >_>

  53. david

    Police State

    We've got a phrase for a society where the Police get to have things run the way they think things should be run. It's called a Police State.

  54. Mark

    Foreign Power: England (to Scotland, that is). CHECK

    You know why Scotland is ruled by England, don't you? YOU LOST. That's what happened way back when you wanted to have a country: you fought over the borders and the winner takes what they want.



    Hell, as a Welshman, we lost too. And worse, though that was because we didn't fight on the side of the English and didn't cave in until all the home-grown nobility had died off in the fighting.

    So the scotts got off a damn sight better: you had the ones supporting the English still in power and because you gave up early, still lots of nobs who didn't like England.

    PS It's weird how the majority of the surviving landowners were pro-english rule yet now you'll never find one scotsman who thinks it OK.

  55. W

    Scotland / England / Wales / etc

    Good call to Mike Richards (fully allowing for the partial Math Campbell amendment).

    As for Mark the Welshman... "LOST" what exactly? For what it's worth I'm an Englishman living in Scotland. I don't think the "Union" constitutes Scotland (recognised prior as a full nation state) having "LOST" to England (also recognised as a nation state) in the sense you mean it. Cheated, maybe... and at that point I refer again to a quote from Math Campbell (see above): "Act of Union (1707) forced on Scottish Parliament through corruption and bribes and blackmail; little to no public assent given the mass rioting on the streets."

    Wales, however, is a principality and was never really known as a nation state in the modern sense. It was quite clearly 'absorbed' (or to use your term: LOST) into England. Witness the way the St George's cross is used by the the Union Flag, to represent England and, by implication, Wales.

    So I can see why you're angry.

    The sooner the UK becomes more like the Nordic/Scandinavian collection of mutually respectful alliance of like-minded but clearly individual countries, the better. Rather that than the broken and confusing collection of resentment and lies that we have at present.

    The UK, in it's present form has run it's course. Britain and British can still be a legitimate, loose collective terms. But as a singular term for a country or 'a people', it's a wholly bankrupt concept.

  56. Anonymous Coward

    Typical Scumclyde cops

    This is the reason why people in Scotland have little or no faith in the cops....they are butt ass lazy, stupid, prejudiced and cowardly.

    Example I went to a grad recruitment event for the police half the forces didnt bother sending a representative and most of the reps that were there were from scumclyde police.

    I have longish hair at the moment (which I would have cut if i had decided to join, but the minute the scumclyde "recruiting" officer saw me she piped up with "Meh chiff inspuctor wid fah aff his sit eff he sahw ye wi hur lik that" starting a pattern of "meh chiff inspuctor wid" speeches.

    For the grad scheme being pushed, turns out its a waste of time as theres no real acclerated promotion, you get it in the neck from old fart cops for being a "snobby wee git", get checked up on constantly and get told "IF you want some easy graduate ride go work in England"

    And they wonder why Scottish cops have a horrificallly poor clear up rate, mainly as none of them know the law, are unwilling to help at all (my car got whacked in a car park, asked regarding photos of damage / paint sample as evidence, reply from dundee muppet copper "Its no CSI ye ken") and regulalrly lie regarding the law if they dont want to bother following up a crime (that 6 inch + diametre exhaust is legal according to the traffic division, guy said the car came from Japan like that [conflict there as Jap exhaust dont meet British standards period]

    And the few decent cops, well their "colleagues" try to get rid of them, example chav with a rep for assaulting police with weapons including knives, gets spotted breaching peace and making threats, cop tries to cuff him and he gets violent,so the cop is struggling with him and almost loses grip on the little scrote so gives him a punch to the side of the head to subdue him to get the cuffs on, his partner decides to complain as he used "excessive force" by punching the little scrote once instead of slapping him, and he gets booted off the force, sickening.... I wonder where she was, chatting up someone in the street, fixing her lippy in the car? Perhaps she should go buy some burberry and a pram and she would fit right it, or possibly become an ambulance chasing lawyer

    Worst part is one of my buddies is a cop and he is already parping out the same crap as the rest of them after less than 6 months [we are tayside police, complaints are futile, you will be ignored and lied to]

    Makes me embarrassed to be Scottish with these lazy sods claiming to be cops really, S**g H**l; better all start practising I suppose

  57. Brian Drury

    Top Jock cop calls for universal DNA database

    A universal DNA Database - What downside could there be?

    How about this:

    "A SCHOOLGIRL was raped by a gang who poured caustic soda over her body to destroy DNA evidence".

    From: The Sun - Rapists throw acid on girl - 15th Jan 2008.

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