No compulsory DNA database - Home Office

HOME Office ministers are not considering the making the DNA database compulsory for everyone despite the convictions of Steve Wright and Mark Dixie, officials said today.

HOME Office ministers are not considering the making the DNA database compulsory for everyone despite the convictions of Steve Wright and Mark Dixie, officials said today.

Suffolk serial killer Wright and Sally Anne Bowman's murderer Dixie - who was jailed for a minimum of 34 years after being found guilty of murdering teenage model Sally Anne Bowman - were both captured because their DNA was taken after unrelated offences.

Speaking after yesterday's guilty verdict, the policeman who led the hunt for Miss Bowman's killer called for a national DNA register.

The plea has the backing of Miss Bowman's mother who has previously petitioned for the move.

But the Home Office said a compulsory database would raise "significant practical and ethical issues".

DNA samples and fingerprints are already taken on a routine basis upon most arrests.

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A Home Office spokesman said: "There are no government plans to introduce a universal compulsory, or voluntary, national DNA Database and to do so would raise significant practical and ethical issues.''

A case at the European Court of Human Rights next week could impede the use of DNA as a crime-solving aid.

The two applicants, Michael Marper and a teenager known as 'S', both from Sheffield, will find out on Wednesday if they successfully argued that their human rights have been impinged by the decision to leave their details on the database, despite the fact that they had never been found guilty of a crime.

Speaking outside court yesterday, Detective Superintendent Stuart Cundy, who led the investigation into Miss Bowman's murder, said a national DNA database would have led to Dixie's arrest within 24 hours.

Wright was arrested because detectives found DNA found on the dead women from the Ipswich area matched DNA which he had given when he was convicted of theft in 2002.

Having his DNA on file allowed them to make a quick arrest - and prevented any further deaths.

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