Big brother DNA databank proposal rejected

14th March 2011, Comments 0 comments

A suggestion by Rotterdam police chief Frank Paauw to store the DNA of the whole Dutch population to solve crime has led to a numerous reactions from politicians and the public in the Netherlands. Many of the reactions were voiced via Twitter.

At the moment, DNA can only be taken from suspects who are taken into custody for crimes which carry a sentence of at least four years.

Justice Minister Ivo Opstelten called the idea disproportional, as "Only a small proportion of the population is responsible for crime." He believes there should be a balance between the justice system and privacy and creating a DNA database for the whole population would not be in balance. He called the proposed measure unnecessary.

MPs were also quick to distance themselves from the radical proposal to create a huge DNA databank.

Green Left MP Tofik Dibi says, investigation powers to take DNA should only be reserved for possible culprits of crime and not for unsuspecting members of the public.

On Twitter, VVD MP Jeanine Hennis wrote she was irritated by the police chief's comments, she accused him of having tunnel vision.

Democrats D66 leader Alexander Pechtold twittered, "Police chief shooting from the hip. Can't wait until his next New Year's speech."

Rotterdam Mayor Ahmed Aboutaleb, who is also head of the police in the Rotterdam-Rijnmond region, is also against the idea. He supports the current system. Nevertheless he did call the police chiefs comments "a useful contribution to the discussion on the limits of use of DNA".

The tweets #AlleNederlanders even managed to become a worldwide trending topic. Most of the tweets were negative.

© Radio Netherlands Worldwide

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