BBC Radio West Midlands Saturday evening show examines the damaging impact of the DNA database on community relations

BBC Radio West Midlands Saturday evening show examines the damaging impact of the DNA database on community relations

Experts concerns that government plans to retain innocent DNA on the national criminal DNA database is posing the biggest threat to community relations to date, will be the subject of discussion on BBC Radio WM 95.6FM DAB this Saturday 14 August from 8.00 – 10.00 pm.

This week’s Joe Aldred show, which will be hosted by journalist and broadcaster, Phil Gayle can be heard live by tuning into BBC Radio Birmingham 95.6 FM or online at BBC iplayer online.

Presenter Phil Gayle will be discussing the news on the shocking numbers innocent people from African Caribbean communities who have their DNA stored on the National Criminal DNA database, which has recently hit the headlines.

Gayle will be speaking to Matilda MacAttram director of Black Mental Health UK about the Government consultation on the DNA database, which was launched in March this year in response to European Court of Human Rights ruling, which found that the current practice of retaining the DNA profiles of innocent people who had not been convicted of any crime on the database to be illegal.

Black Mental Health UK in association with GeneWatch UK and the London School of Economics’ Policy Engagement Network organised the only public event on the DNA database and ethnic minorities during the 3 month period of the Home Office consultation.

MacAttram will talk about the importance of including community and grass groups in discussions about whose profiles are stored on the DNA database because of the disturbingly high numbers of innocent black Britons who are currently on this system.

Currently 77 percent of young black men between the age of 18 and 35 have their DNA on the database. Three out of four black men living in the UK have their DNA on the database compared to 9 percent of all Asians and 6 percent of the white population. Home Office’s research shows that black people have lower offending rates than their white counterparts.

Shocking figures also show that the DNA database holds the genetic profiles of almost a quarter (23%) of all black children resident in the UK compared to just 10 percent of all white children.

BMH UK have also raised the issue of the thousands of vulnerable people in need of mental health care are finding themselves criminalised by this system when they are sectioned under the Mental Health Act.

‘The majority of key stakeholders the communityare currently are not even aware of the disproportionate impact that the DNAD is having on Black Britons.
There is the concern that the lack of information on this issue and the continued exclusion of black groups from this debate is likely to damage community relations and reinforce the perception that the DNA database is an attempt to criminalise a whole community by stealth,’ Matilda MacAttram director of Black Mental Health UK said.

Saturday’s two hour programme which examines the issues at the heart of the African and Caribbean communities here in the West Midlands is broadcast live every week.

Tune into BBC Radio WM 95.6FM DAB this Saturday 14 August from 8.00 pm – 10.00 pm to learn more about how the National Criminal DNA database affects black Briton

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Website: http://www.blackmentalhealth.org.ujk
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