Forensic DNA retention: Public perspective studies in the United Kingdom and around the world: Public perspective studies in the United Kingdom and around the world

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)
89 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

This review analysed public perspective studies on forensic DNA retention in the United Kingdom and around the world. The studies generally show strong public support for the long-term or indefinite retention of DNA from convicts and suspects. There is considerable support for the retention of DNA from all or some arrestees and potentially the entire population. This was predicated upon the belief that forensic DNA databases have crime-solving abilities, which the public rate highly. In the UK, it was found that the current Protection of Freedoms Act 2012 regime is broadly representative of the recommendations of the surveyed British public. Nevertheless, the studies highlighted a gap in forensic DNA education among the public, suggesting that public views may not be well informed. Overall, there was clear evidence of privacy concerns and the potential misuse of DNA records among the public, with a significant number opposing the retention of DNA from the innocent. It was found that most of the studies were qualitative or non-representative of the relevant population, limiting the generalisation of the results. There was also limited studies among a representative sample of primary stakeholders who are well-informed or directly exposed to the benefits, challenges and risks associated with DNA retention. A research into stakeholders rating of different forensic DNA retention regimes is therefore highly recommended. This is important because the studies suggest divergent views among criminal justice professionals and other members of the public, with the former expressing expansive views and the latter expressing restrictive views. The primary stakeholder's survey will help establish whether the relevant safeguards have been put in place to protect both public security and individual interests.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)455-464
Number of pages10
JournalScience & Justice
Volume58
Issue number6
Early online date8 May 2018
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2018

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Forensic DNA retention: Public perspective studies in the United Kingdom and around the world: Public perspective studies in the United Kingdom and around the world'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this