Child DNA Retention
Sinn Féin MLA Martina Anderson has welcomed the decision by the Children's Commissioner Patricia Lewsley to raise the issue of the retention of children's DNA by the PSNI at the United Nations.
Ms Anderson said:
"Sinn Féin raised this issue when a child of twelve was arrested in Derry for writing her name on the city walls with a felt tip pen. The child was taken to Strand Road Barracks where her photograph and DNA were taken.
"Sinn Féin took up the issue and eventually had the child's DNA destroyed but in the process found that the DNA of many other children many of whom were never charged with a crime were being retained by the PSNI.
"Sinn Féin welcomes the decision by the Children's Commissioner to raise this issue at the United Nations as it is important that the human rights of children are protected and that children are not criminalised.
"Sinn Féin reiterates its call for all DNA taken from children except in exceptional circumstances to be destroyed especially children who have never been charged with any offence." ENDS