back to article DNA database costs soar

Home Office figures show that the cost of running the national DNA database has more than doubled since 2002-03. Meg Hillier MP said that in 2002-03 the cost of DNA database services was £774,300, but that service and IT development delivery costs for 2008-09 are projected as £1.77m. In 2006-07, that figure reached £2.04m, …


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  1. John Robson Silver badge

    "It is estimated that the current rate of profile replication is about 13.3%."

    So they don't even know when DNA samples match?

    What was the point of this database again?

  2. James


    So let's get this straight, a system that is intended to uniquely identify individuals is erroneous to the extent that 1 in every 8 profiles has failed to be matched with a pre-existing one? Not even biochemists drawing straight lines through scatter plots would try to claim significance with a 1 in 8 chance of being wrong :P

  3. Pete Silver badge

    surprisingly cheap for a govt project

    At a cost of £2mil p.a. or thereabouts. I'm quite surprised by this, as I didn't know it was possible for the government to do anything IT related for less than 8 or 9 digits. Maybe when they start to implement security for our data the costs will skyrocket to the sort of astronomical overspend we're more used to.

  4. Elrond Hubbard

    It's still able to id people!

    By replication i think you'll find she means people have had their sample taken mroe than once so they have multiples of the 'same' DNA just taken at different dates.... it prob fits with their policy of never deleting a sample... even the innocents!

  5. ian

    Good value for money

    At a mere £2mil this database will save far more in halted/deterred crime. However I would have thought that any database worthy of the name would prevent duplicate records. Is there a good reason for permitting duplications?

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    Choose your DNA

    So if you commit a crime, can you not reasonably ask to have your DNA evidence checked against all the other samples in their database, just in case it doesn't match? Bet not !

    This Surveillance Society Sucks !

    P.S. I'm not a criminal and my DNA is not on the PNC unless they took it without my permission while last in hospital/doctors.

  7. Anonymous Coward


    CREATE TABLE uber_dna_register (

    name varchar(255),

    address varchar(255),

    political_views varchar(255),

    chromosone_1 text NOT NULL,

    chromosone_2 text NOT NULL,

    chromosone_3 text NOT NULL,


    chromosone_46 text NOT NULL


    £2mil please!

  8. Anonymous Coward

    Follow the ££££££

    How long before entry fee & rental is charged for being on the DNA database?

    This may sound stupid (so some management consultant will already have proposed it, with a system of fines/penalties for late/refused payments), but did you know that if you are pardoned for a crime and compensated then you can be billed for the time you spent in prison?

  9. Luther Blissett

    Cheap for a myth

    Try buying yourself a myth, any myth, for that money. It's so amazing, it can hardly be true.

    You pretty much always get what you pay for.

  10. Chris

    Re: easy


    1. it's chromosome not chromosone

    2. what species are you? I /only/ have 23 chromosomes...

    3. your table would allow nameless and addressless samples. Not very useful for knocking on the door at 4am...

    4. I've no idea exactly how it's done, but DNA matching is not broken down by chromosome and nor is it a case of simple string matching

    5. I doubt I'd use MySQL for this...

    can we have our £2mil back please...

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    How's that again?

    That they have about 300K too many samples in their files and could reduce costs by getting rid of everyone not ever convicted of a felony level crime.

    Paris, because her dna has been sampled too many times, too.

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    I wonder why the costs have soared? Surely, over time, all you need is more hard disk space, so what's pushing the costs up? The running costs should remain more or less constant except for that.

    More functionality being developed?

    Someone's being ripped off somewhere, and that is us..the taxpayer again.

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Black Helicopters


    update uber_dna_register

    set name = 'Wackie Jaqui || Gordo || Dawn Primello';

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    re: Follow the ££££££

    Try watching Terry Gilliam's "Brazil", where those arrested are billed for the costs of arrest and detention etc. Coming soon, I suspect, to a police station near you.

  15. Anonymous Coward

    Should not be on there

    A lot of people on this DNA database shouldn't be on there. Just because a PC thinks you look like someone else they are after the can arrest you.

    When they arrest you have no choice but to be put on this amazing usless database.

    When it been proven that "I wasn't me gov" to be true by them nicking correct rouge about 40 mints after your self.

    Now note that this amazing database dosn't even know your DNA yet, it take few weeks before this it processed and put upon it unless it is urgenty needed. So DNA database didn't solve the case for me, but I am on it now. But they will not remove you details from this amazing pointless database.


  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    So let me get this right

    If you have been eating something, say a burger or you have just nibbled on your nearest and dearest's love flaps, how do they make that distinction in the DNA test. I am beginging to think this DNA thing is just a load of made up guff.

    So as a test, they should round up 1000 people, who are then recorded using a variety of cameras which stream to an encrypted storage area.

    They run about an area, simulating real life, muching on the odd burger or love flap, getting into fights, sucking on their clothing, picking up objects, shaking hands and popping their fingers in their gobs etc.

    Then each gives a DNA sample.

    The DNA sample is then taken along normal routes to the lab, meanwhile the lorry gets ambushed, the driver dragged out, and flashed a photo of the thing they love the most, the DNA samples are mixed up (labels moved etc), not all but about 50%. He is then popped back into his cab and trundles off to the lab.

    Items are then gathered up from the experiment area and shipped off to another lab, who knows if that truck gets hijacked or not.

    Then quite simply the labs have to share data to match up the items to the people who have touched them.

    All the politicians and judges who think that DNA evidence is incontrovertable get lined up. The results get returned, and the camera footage decrypted, for each item that is wrongly matched to a person, a lump of lead is projectiled into the line at about head hit

    So, how sure are people that DNA evidence is accurate, how long would that line be.

  17. Charles Smith
    Black Helicopters

    The DNA Database is here to stay; unless

    Like the National ID Card scheme, the DNA Database is here to stay until each sitting MP receives a couple of thousand letters from their own constituents. Those letters should say:

    Unless you cancel the Nat Id Card Scheme and keep the un-convicted people off the police DNA Database you will be fired at the next general election.

  18. Anonymous Coward

    The whole DNA database thing should be abandoned.

    The entire concept of the DNA database is horrific. It should not even be tolerated for the worst criminal offenders on the planet to have their DNS profiles kept so.

    They want to put EVERY man, woman and child on the DNA database.. which means there is a presumption that every man, woman and child is going to commit a crime.

    People who think that the DNA database will deter criminals at all are mistaken. They will just get more careful about leaving behind DNA evidence. Methods will develop to drop false DNA evidence at crime scenes which will be considered to automatically exonerate the guilty, "because the DNA evidence" said someone else did it, and didn't link the guilty party to the crime scene.

    George Orwell's classic "1984" illustrates the direction society is moving, and that is a terrifying thing indeed.

    Stop tolerating it, and start protesting! WAKE UP!

  19. Tom Silver badge

    I've got my DNA bomb ready

    Just in case I turn to a life of crime I've already got thousands of hair + dandruff samples from my local hairdressers to throw around the crime scene.

    That should keep them busy.

  20. Britt Johnston
    IT Angle

    duplication count is not error count

    Testing against duplicates doesn't give an error. It might even mark up the duplicates in some self-correcting way. This would only be serious if you were looking for, say, identical twins.

    Incidentally, if the 13.3% figure were the number of independent samples, since there must be at least two independent samples to get a match, the database contains 7.5 sure innocents for each 1 potential match. And, at a criminal population ~1%, they have a match rate efficiency an order of magnitude better than background.

  21. Mike Richards Silver badge

    Easy, spin our way out of this

    When the BBC got a lot of flak for the price of the TV licence they resorted to a slightly desperate campaign telling you how much it worked out to on a daily basis.

    It's time for the Home Office to do the same; now M&S have started using David Jason to do their voiceovers, I'm sure Dervla Kerwin is available:

    'Do you know it costs less than 2 pence per day to store the data of a child on the government's database? Peace and security for just 2p? What else can you get for that?'

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