Critical Criminology

, Volume 12, Issue 2, pp 157–178 | Cite as

Forensic DNA Sampling and the England and Wales National DNA Database: A Sceptical Approach

  • Carole Mccartney


This paper explores possible implications of the rapid expansion of the England and Wales National DNA Database (NDNAD), and the current DNA sampling of offenders and the retention of samples. A precis of the justifications enunciated for the NDNAD is followed by a sceptic's rebuttal and wider analysis of the impact of the growth of forensic DNA testing. It is contended that the expansion of forensic DNA testing should be considered a response within the risk society to the problem of criminal detection, where “risky populations” will have their DNA held permanently by the State for the prevention and early detection of crime. As with any new technology, new “risks” are created, including not only error, improper access and disclosure and “function creep” but the potential creation of a “suspect society” with forensic DNA technology co-opted into mass surveillance and social control mechanisms.


Crime Control Crime Scene Risk Society Human Genetic Commission Mass Surveillance 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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© Kluwer Law International 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  • Carole Mccartney

There are no affiliations available

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