The innocent have nothing to fear (except false positives)

Observer: Put young children on DNA list, urge police

Primary school children should be eligible for the DNA database if they exhibit behaviour indicating they may become criminals in later life, according to Britain's most senior police forensics expert.

Gary Pugh, director of forensic sciences at Scotland Yard and the new DNA spokesman for the Association of Chief Police Officers (Acpo), said a debate was needed on how far Britain should go in identifying potential offenders, given that some experts believe it is possible to identify future offending traits in children as young as five.

'If we have a primary means of identifying people before they offend, then in the long-term the benefits of targeting younger people are extremely large,' said Pugh. 'You could argue the younger the better. Criminologists say some people will grow out of crime; others won't. We have to find who are possibly going to be the biggest threat to society.'

(My emphasis added.)

That is one hell of an if, if I may say so, Gary. But I suspect you already know that. Exactly what percentage of experts is 'some experts'? How do you define an expert? When you say these experts 'believe', do you mean they have actual scientific proof, or do you mean that they believe in the same way that some people believe in Father Christmas, that there is a god, or that there are fairies at the bottom of their garden?

Why are you spouting this dangerous nonsense, Gary? Haven't you read The Mismeasure of Man?

What's your real agenda, Gary?

(Is this the sort of debate you had in mind?)

Richard Carter

A fat, bearded chap with a Charles Darwin fixation.

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