Poll to gauge black electorate views on DNA retention plans launched on eve of general election

Poll to gauge black electorate views on DNA retention plans launched on eve of general election

With only two days to go to the general election and concern over the retention of innocent DNA sweeping across the community, campaigns group Black Mental Health UK have launched a new online poll on the criminal DNA database.

In a bid to ensure that this issue is not pushed off the political agenda this new poll raises a question on the decision by the government, to allow the police to continue to store innocent DNA on the National Criminal DNA database for up to six years.

The large numbers of innocent people from Britain’s African Caribbean communities profiled on the database has meant that this decision has effectively criminalised the whole community.

The commitment from both opposition parties to overturn this decision, set out in the Crime and Security Bill has been welcomed from all sections of the community.

There is now a growing consensus that politicians need to be reminded of this commitment in the final days of the election campaign.

‘The decision to keep innocent DNA on the criminal database for 6 years has criminalised entire communities. We have launched this poll to remind the opposition parties of their commitment on this issue and their promise to change the law, if there is a change in government,’ Matilda MacAttram director of Black Mental Health UK said.

‘This issue should not be forgotten after the election, innocent people will still have records on the DNA database and also on the Police National Computer. It is important that any new government takes actions to remove this stigma, particularly from black communities.’ Helen Wallace, director GeneWatch UK said.

‘We agree with the opposition parties that people who are have not been convicted of any crime should be removed from the database immediately.
I would encourage everyone to go online and vote on this poll in order to let the politicians know that we are serious about this issue, it is the only way to get change and that change is required now,’ Bishop Llewellyn Grayham, church of God of prophesy said.

‘This new poll is one of the most effective ways to gauge what the public opinion within our communities is on this issue.
It’s a good idea and I would encourage people to go online and vote as it also sends a message that this is not something that will just go away after the election,’ Frederick Clarke director of Mighty Men of Valour said.

Region: All
Website: http://www.blackmentalhealth.org.uk/index.php?option=com_pollxt&task=voting&pollid=12&Itemid=154
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Phone: 07852 182 750