BBC Radio London’s Sunday show on how DNA database has become an election issue for Black Britain

BBC Radio London

The growing recognition that the national criminal DNA database has become election issue for Black Britons will be debated on BBC Radio London’s Sunday night, weekly news show, from 8.00 – 10.00pm tonight.

Hosted by Dotun Adebayo, this evening’s show can be heard live by tuning into 94.9FM and can also be accessed on digital radio and online.
The debate comes ahead of a parliamentary reception on the impact of the DNA database on Briton’s Black communities, which is set to take place on Tuesday 2nd March from 7.00-9.00pm at the House of Commons, Westminster.

Black Mental Health UK’s director Matilda MacAttram is a guest on the show. She will be talking about BMH UK’s campaign, which is calling for the removal of innocent DNA from the criminal database and looking at why the national criminal DNA database is now recognised election issue for people from the African and Caribbean communities.

Research shows that ethnic minorities hold the balance of power in close to 100 constituencies, this makes it clear that their views on the retention of innocent DNA are not something the Government can afford to ignore.
There are growing concerns that the Government’s policy on the retention of innocent DNA has criminalised every black family in Britain.

At least 77% of all young black men living in the UK are profiled on the database even though the Home Office’s own research shows that people from this group are less likely to commit a crime than their white counterparts.
Not only are innocent young black men over represented on this database, 47% of all men over 35 and 23% of black children between the ages of 10 and 16 compared with 10% of white children are on this on the database.

The purpose of the police retaining an individual’s DNA on this database is to treat them as a suspect for any future crime.
Community leaders fear that the DNA database now poses one of the most critical threats to community cohesion to date. With at least one member of every family from this community currently profiled on this system, there is no doubt that the DNA database has effectively criminalised Black Britain.

‘The black electorate hold the balance of power in close to 100 constituencies. People want to know where the political parties stand on this issue, as it is likely to be major factor when they decide who to vote for in the General Election. We know that MPs will be voting on the Crime and Security Bill this week, and so Tuesday’s parliamentary reception will give people from the community who register to attend the chance to find out for themselves where the political parties stand on this,’ MacAttram said.

As over two thirds of Britain’s African Caribbean population live in the capital, Dotun Adebayo’s Sunday show will of personal interest to most listeners, making it a show not to be missed.

BMH UK’s parliamentary reception on the DNA database and Black Britain has been organised in association with GeneWatch UK and is free to attend, but does require online registration at www.blackmentalhealth.org.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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