back to article DNA database grows faster than forecast

Over 5m profiles are now on the national DNA database, significantly above the level forecast two years ago. Home Office minister Alan Campbell has released the figures in response to a parliamentary question from Sarah Teather MP. They show that on 9 January there were 5.14m profiles on the database, although the estimated …


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  1. Dave


    It's always made me wonder how you get duplicates. Surely if the database is that wonderful, we're all unique (except identical twins) and duplicates can be weeded out immediately the second entry is attempted. If not, then it shows that there's variations even for an individual and if they can't pick up the duplicate at that point, it also follows that they might miss out identifying someone from a second DNA sample.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Black Helicopters

    They've got you anyway.

    so given the closeness of DNA to your near relatives, you only need a single brother/sister/uncle/aunt/cousin/child/nephew/niece/grandparent on the database, and you're effectively on it too. Barring people you're not actually related to by blood, of course.

    So that's pretty much all of us then.

    Except those out of the 49 under-10s who aren't covered by the above. Which makes a HUGE difference.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I can prove i do not understand fundamentals of databases;-

    "The presence of replicate profiles on the NDNAD does not impact on the effectiveness and integrity of the database," Campbell said.

    ... numpty!

  4. Sir Runcible Spoon Silver badge


    "The breakdown by ethnic groups is dominated by north European whites with 3.99m"

    is this truly representative of the ethnic backgrounds of criminals in this country?

    I call shennigans.

  5. EvilGav

    So, by any normal rationale . . .

    . . . this means that over 10% of the population of England and Wales have criminal convictions, because we wouldn't keep the DNA of those who have not been charged/been found innocent/only handed it to us for our inquiries.

  6. Anonymous Coward


    These are, or used to be, caused by criminals giving different names when they were arrested by different forces. So Arthur Smith arrested in Birmingham gets arrested 8 months later in Yorkshire and gives his name as Frederick Jones.

    The DNA profiles are duplicates but the person data associated with them is different - because criminals do tend to lie to the police about things.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Black Helicopters

    Damn lies and...

    "The breakdown by ethnic groups is dominated by north European whites with 3.99m."

    Meaning that non-white ethnic minorities are over-represented on the database by 100%.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Under 10's

    "He also said the new figures do not reflect the removal of the 49 profiles of children under 10 years old"

    That's lucky, because if these were taken into account then the figure of 5.14M would actually be..umm 5.14M.

    Leave the under 10's on there I say, if they are already on the DNAD, they are there for a reason, a reason that will probably follow them through their Thunderbird/Strongbow drinking teenage years and beyond.

  9. Alien8n

    @ Shennanigans

    That's because everyone who gets arrested for being drunk on a saturday night gets put on there as well. And as the majority of "crimes" are for public order offences that swings the stats in favour of the good old fashioned white chav yob...

  10. Richard


    This is the illegal DNA database, right? The one with all the innocent people on it who should have been removed by now (or rather, never put there in the first place). Never mind all the people cautioned about some trivial offence who should have their profiles removed too after some period of time.

  11. Pat

    DNA database = guilt equivalence?

    Quote = "The figures are broken into age groups and show that with the highest number of profiles is 25-34 with 1.56m. It is followed by the 35-44 group with 1.10m.

    The breakdown by ethnic groups is dominated by north European whites with 3.99m."

    And this analysis is useful because?

    So now age and ethnic profiling from the DNA database is being published, would someone please explain what useful correlations can be made if this database includes the innocent as well as the guilty?

    WTF?? - it even includes victims - for an example search for the phrase 'barrister of 43' on the following link:

  12. Adam Silver badge

    @ Shennanigans

    "is this truly representative of the ethnic backgrounds of criminals in this country?"

    Possibly, but the DNA database isn't a database of criminals so it's impossible to draw any conclusions.

  13. Anonymous Coward
    IT Angle

    @AC Re: Duplicates

    At the risk of bringing some IT relevance to an otherwise good set of article comments...

    It's a DATABASE... you know those things which are supposedly really good at searching and indexing and **detecting duplicate records**!!

    You just need a way to convert a DNA profile result into a unique key. Which is similar to what they do with biometric fingerprint and iris scan data. It's not rocket science, and it probably isn't brain surgery either.

    Just get the PFY to write you a profile merge batch job and run it over the weekend. It's only a few million records after all. He could do it on his laptop while watching the footie.

    As for the fact that they are actively growing an already deemed illegal database... well that just shows how much contempt BritGov plc has for human rights legislation doesn't it.

  14. Eponymous Cowherd
    Black Helicopters

    Re: Under 10's

    Don't worry, they'll be back on there once Wacqui gets the Onset profiling system up and running.

    Open the door to a pair of rozzers. "We've come for little Johnny" says one.

    "What has he done?" says the distraught mother.

    "Oh, nothing yet", say the copper, "but Onset says he's going to, so we're going to lock him up and take his DNA and fingerprints, just in case".

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Does this figure...

    ... take into account all the innocent people who have been removed from the DNA database since the EU told Jacqui to remove them?

    And if not, why not? What's she too busy doing? Spending time with her family?

  16. Greg

    Hang on a minute

    January 2006....that's three years ago, surely? And if they predicted then that it would hit 4.25m in two years, and it's at 5.14m three years later...well, it's still a bigger rise than you'd like (hey, the fucking thing still exists) but it's not as bad as you make it out.

    Unless you actually just meant to put "2007," in which case I shall immediately post again with a long anti-NDNAD rant.

  17. Guy Herbert

    Amazing isn't it

    That it takes 3 months to remove 49 profiles - the under-10s (a classic piece of misdirection) being J Smith's only promise to do anything immediately following the Marper judgment. I suppose they don't have much practice removing people so it is terribly hard and difficult work compared with the swabbing and lab work and coding and referencing invoved in putting someone on.

    I'd quite like to know whether the fingerprints of the same under-10s have been removed from that database. Or is the Home Office happy pretending Marper was only about DNA and hoping that its defiance on that point will divert attention?

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Black Helicopters

    @AC: 11:36

    "The DNA profiles are duplicates but the person data associated with them is different - because criminals do tend to lie to the police about things."

    And innocent people - a large slice of people on the database not being convicted of anything - manage to move house or get their names mis-spelled by semi-literate state thugs in between arrests.

  19. Mike Richards Silver badge

    Like to know more about the duplicates

    Are they identical DNA records from people who have used more than one name, or are they different DNA records because the Home Office has changed DNA measuring guidelines in the past?

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    DNA database is going to be delicious for profiling the population. Which is exactly what they'er planning to do even if they havn't written it down anywhere. Just think of the power you would have once you've identified that gene sequence a means you may be a murdered, sequence b may be gay, sequence c pychopath. Then you can use that knowledge, have special programs move all the people with specific sets off to a special school, other types to another school, ban sections of the populace from travel.

    But where would a dubious government body want people with a disposition to brutal murder, once properly conditioned, would you want them in Jail, or would you want them in a board meeting in another nations prime corporation? Would you really want to educate someone with rebelious tendancies even if they may be a genius? How about letting mentally ill people have children? The USA had a policy of neutering people before ww2...

    Somewhere, sometime, the line between science fiction and reality may very well blur in this arena, what comes out may be quite worrying.

  21. MnM


    so, you can get onto the database with a false name? Country-wide DOS attack here we come!!! Who's going first?

    Oh and I heard they're going to store your data on the database whenever you give blood, which is nice.

  22. Anonymous Coward

    49 profiles of children under 10 years

    Oh, I hope they threw the book at all those little delinquents!

  23. Chris

    re: mmm

    "Just think of the power you would have once you've identified that gene sequence a means you may be a murdered, sequence b may be gay, sequence c pychopath"

    Except the NDNAD does not have any sequence information in it. It's just DNA fingerprint data, which is simply a pattern DNA fragments. So knowing which genes do what is not relevant at all.

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