The House of Commons Home Affairs Select Committee has published a report into The National DNA Database. In it they point out that the detection rate of DNA is not all that the government claim it is and go on to suggest that the database is actually used for pre-crime. The report states: "It is currently impossible to say with certainty how many crimes are detected, let alone how many result in convictions, due at least in part to the matching of crime scene DNA to a personal profile already on the database, but it appears that it may be as little as 0.3%---and we note that the reason for retaining personal profiles on a database is so that the person can be linked to crimes he/she commits later".
The government continues to roll out the ID card con to selected guinea pigs, trying to drum up trade by sending propaganda leaflets to households in selected regions. The leaflet features a smiley fingerprint character with the slogan: "idsmart, ID at your fingertips". What follows is a letter presenting a list of half truths, signed by the 'Head of Product Marketing'. The leaflet sweeps aside the thorny issue of how voluntary ID cards will be, stating: "Applying for an identity card is entirely voluntary. However, once you do so, you'll discover that it's a safer, more convenient way to prove who you are - as well as to help protect yourself against identity fraud." In fact there are many other things that guinea pigs would discover, such as the database behind the card or the fines that will be imposed for not keeping their information up to date.
A number of politicians have recently turned to scaremongering about job losses they claim would result from scrapping the ID scheme. However, Freedom of Information (FOI) requests to both Blackburn and Durham Identity and Passport (IPS) offices have shown that no new job roles have been created from the scheme. Workers within IPS could simply be deployed back into issuing passports.
James Elsdon-Baker, NO2ID's North of England co-ordinator said, "The claim that we need the £230,000 a day ID scheme for jobs is madness when the government is readily announcing cuts in front-line services. When the scheme is scrapped I'm sure the civil servants that have been made to work on ID cards would be happy to go back to working on useful things that people want."