Hosted by Kai Ouagadou-Mbandaka and Omowale Kwaw, this evening’s show can be heard live on Monday 16th May 2011 by tuning into to Voice of Africa 94FM from 8.00 – 10.00pm and can also be accessed on digital radio and online (www.voiceofafricaradio.com).
This show comes ahead of the Protection of Freedom Bill being discussed in Committee at the House of Common’s this Tuesday 17th May.
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 records of all innocent people to be deleted from the Police National Computer (PNC) and Police National Database (PND) at the same time that their DNA is deleted.
Backed by GeneWatch UK and a host of community organisations BMH UK is concerned that unless the PNC and 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.
Anyone who is profiled on the DNA database has had their details entered onto three databases: the National DNA database, the fingerprint database and the Police National Database (formerly the Police National Computer).
Currently retention of the PNC and PND records is to age 100. 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’s.
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 are calling for people to support this campaign by visiting their website (www.blackmentalhealth.org.uk) and go to the campaigs page and download the lobbying letter, changing it as appropriate and then e-mailing or post it to their local MP.
‘We welcome the Protection of Freedom Bill and its proposals to destroy all innocent DNA and fingerprints.
But in order to ensure that the innocent are not inadvertently criminalised by this system we need people to write to their MPs let them know that both PNC and PND records of innocent people need to be deleted at the same time,’ Matilda MacAttram director of Black Mental Health UK said.