Parliamentary reception alerts community to how the DNA database has criminalised black Briton

Parliamentary reception alerts community to how the DNA database has criminalised black Briton

A parliamentary reception on the impact of the database on black Britan will be hosted by James Brokenshire MP, shadow minister for crime reduction on Tuesday 2nd March 2010, from 7.00 – 9.00pm in Committee Room 14, at the House of Commons, Westminster.

The over representation of innocent people from African Caribbean communities profiled on the national criminal DNA database is increasingly being recognised as an election issue for this group.

There is growing recognition of the significance of the black electorate, as research shows that minorities hold the balance of power in close to 100 constituencites.

Organised by human rights campaigns group Black Mental Health UK in association with GeneWatch UK, those who attend will be informed about the progress of the Government’s Crime and Security Bill . Current proposals with this Bill are set to allow the police to retain innocent DNA on the database for up to eight years.

Community leaders have warned that the DNA database now poses one of the most critical threats to community cohesion to date. They opportunity for all the main parties to inform key stakeholders who have in the past been exclude from this debate has been welcomed.
Senior home affairs ministers from the main political parties will be speaking at this reception.

This event is free to attend, but does require online registration at www.blackmentalhealth.org.uk.

‘The disproportionate numbers of innocent people from African Caribbean communities on the DNA database has turned this into an election issue for Black Britons. People want to know where the parties stand on this. Those who attend the parliamentary reception on Tuesday 2nd March can hear from the ministers for themselves,’ Matilda MacAttram.

‘The massive expansion of Britain’s DNA database has failed to deliver genuine benefits in terms of solving crime, instead it has eroded public trust in policing. Young black men are the people most likely to be victims of the Government’s attack on everybody’s rights. This event offers the opportunity for people from the community to learn more about how they can take a stand in influencing this process.’ Dr Helen Wallace, director of Gene Watch UK

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Website: http://www.blackmentalhealth.org.uk/index.php?option=com_attend_events&Itemid=117&task=view&id=4
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