The human rights campaign group has renewed calls for the deletion of all innocent records amid fears that without this commitment millions of innocent people will continue to be criminalised by the new Police National Database.
BMH UK warn that all innocent people who currently profiled on the DNA database will be swept up with criminals and suspects who have criminal links when the Police National DNA Database goes live today.
BMH UK’s online petition is calling for a commitment from Government for ensure that the Protection of Freedoms Bill ensures that the records of all innocent people are deleted from Police National Database (PND) at the same time that their DNA is deleted.
Unless PND records are deleted at the same time as well as any photos, up to a million innocent people will still retain the status of a criminal.
These records can be used to refuse someone a visa or a job simply because they have a record of arrest. This can also lead to stigma and discrimination when accessed by officers on the beat.
For the past three years BMH UK has been campaigning against the way the DNA database has criminalised black Briton.
The DNA profiles of 37% of black men and 77% of young black men, aged between 15 and 34, have been estimated to be on the National DNA Database. Every black family in Britain is affected.
BMH UK say that changes need to be made to the Protection of Freedoms Bill to include the deletion of innocent people’s police records and photographs at the same time as their DNA and fingerprint records.
‘We are calling on people to support our new petition to ensure that this new technology that is designed to assist the police fight crime does not inadvertently sweep up the innocent with the guilty.
This in itself is an injustice that will disproportionately impact on the lives of people from the UK’s African Caribbean Communities and mental health services users,’ Matilda MacAttram director of Black Mental Health UK said.
‘It is the duty of people of conscience to actively ensure that the government is sensitive to the plight of those who often cannot advocate for themselves.
I would encourage as many people as possible to sign up to BMH UK’s new petition so as to make sure that the innocent are not criminalised by this new technology Unless we do, we will be doing less than our duty,’ Archdeacon Daniel Kajumba chair of the Church of England’s Committee for Minority Ethnic Concerns (CMEAC) said.
‘This is an unconscionable assault on the human rights on people who have not been convicted of crime as having their records kept on a database that presumes criminality.
Given the disproportionate impact this has on black communities and especially young black men in an economic climate where 50% of young black men between 18 and 24 are now unemployed country, this will further erode the possibility of becoming of them becoming fully able to contribute to the economy and will be a threat to good community relations,’ Olu Alake president of 100 Black Men of London said.