Crime and punishment
I'm hoping to get a story on Good Morning Devon shortly about police collecting DNA samples from children. I think you'll be able to hear it if you listen to Matt Woodley on BBC Radio Devon from 6am on Thursday.
What I've found out so far is that in Devon and Cornwall, you're more likely to have your DNA sample taken by the police than you are to be a victim of crime (69/1,000 compared with 62/1,000) and that in a three year period, Devon and Cornwall police arrested more than 14,300 juveniles. More than 20 of those arrests involved children as young as 10.
Because the vast majority of those juveniles are never charged with an offence - but dealt with by way of caution or reprimand - they are, in the eyes of the law, innocent. Yet their DNA sample will stay on an Interpol database until those children have reached the age of 100.
I hadn't appreciated until now that local police forces are free to interpret their own policies on DNA. This could become even more interesting when we get to the Police Commissioner elections in November.