Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Blacks more likely to be on a British DNA database

Jonathan Walker:

Black people in the West Midlands are almost five times as likely as whites to have their details recorded on a controversial DNA database, the Home Office has revealed.

The figures were seen as evidence of stereotyping of black people by the chairman of a leading community organisation yesterday.

Martin Blissett, chairman of the Afro-Caribbean Resource Centre in Winson Green, Birmingham, said: "If people wanted any further ammunition about how a certain section of the community has been stereotyped, then this is it."

West Midlands Police last night refused to comment on the figures. The force has recorded the details of 9,468 people who were arrested, but were not charged or cautioned, new figures show.

Of these, 1,355 were black - 14 per cent of the total. However, only 3.7 per cent of the population of West Midlands metropolitan county is black.

Asian people were also over-represented, making up 19 per cent of those recorded on the database and only 14 per cent of the population as a whole.

Only 62 per cent of database samples came from white Europeans, who make up 79 per cent of the West Midlands population.

DNA of 37% of black men held by police

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