Monday, 10 January 2011

The New McCarthy-ism?*

The brains trust that Labour decided would make an idea 'Twitter Csar' has opened her mouth and crammed both feet firmly into it once more:
An MP has called on police to DNA test every man in Bristol in a bid to track down the killer of Joanna Yeates in what could be the biggest ever screening carried out by British police.
Kerry McCarthy, Labour MP for Bristol East, wants swabs to be taken from the entire male population - around 250,000 people.
Hang the cost! Right, Kerry? And I'm sure the labs have the time to sort through this particular haystack to find a needle that may not actually even be there...
The mass testing would echo that of a case in 1995 which eventually led to the conviction of David Frost who raped and murdered 18-year-old Louise Smith on Christmas Day when she walked home from a nightclub.

He was caught 14 months later when police noticed he had avoided providing a DNA sample and travelled to South Africa, where he was working, to take a swab.
I notice the 'Mail' doesn't see fit to remind us of another case - a rather less successful one - that of Colin Pitchfork...
Miss McCarthy said: 'I understand some people think this is an invasion of their privacy...,'
'But who cares about them, I have a chance to get my face in the paper and demand yet more authoritarian actions! Wheeee!'
'...but I think most people would understand that city-wide testing could get the killer off the streets.,'
At what cost? And not just in monetary terms, as outlined by Al Jahom, in manpower, in the loss of rights, in the ever-increasing contempt in which people hold the state? Does that even matter to you?

I mean, no-one knows if the killer is male (because no-one knows if the unidentified sample allegedly found on her body is relevant) or even if they are still in Bristol!
The idea was also backed by Louise's mother, Gillian, 63, who said that DNA tests would help achieve justice for Jo's family.
And being a grieving mother, that's all she cares about. Which doesn't make her a monster, but it does make her someone whose opinion should be taken with a good deal of caution...
She said: 'I would hope that people in the area are tested when the police are ready to do it. If they have a sample of DNA and no match on the national database, then they should use it.

'They should test residents near where she lived in Clifton and where her body was found. The tension in Bristol and around Clifton will not be relieved until someone is caught.'
Meanwhile, the tension between the law-abiding taxpayer and the State that we are paying for, yet increasingly treats us all as guilty until proved innocent, ratchets tighter and tighter daily...

* post title suggested by John M Ward

12 comments:

Feuillet said...

"I mean, no-one knows if the killer is male (because no-one knows if the unidentified sample allegedly found on her body is relevant) or even if they are still in Bristol!"

Indeed! Any killer that has a normal mind will leave Bristol when they heard this suggestion!

O well, in Communist China, it is used to be the case that one are not alowed to leave their city without permission from the government. I will not doubt that one day the UK government will get some "great" ideas from China.

PT said...

And let's not forget that once the police have your DNA on record they will never relinquish that record, even if you can prove your innocence, never mind their inability to prove your guilt.

Anonymous said...

The police are less than honest when it comes to mass DNA screening. In the case of Sally Anne Bowman, the police promised faithfully that samples taken in a mass screening would be destroyed. In reality men who were tested had to actively opt-out by ticking a box at the bottom of the testing paperwork. 30% failed to do so and their DNA was retained.

http://forum.no2id.net/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=32615&p=119222&hilit=voluntary+DNA+profiles#p119222

Intruder said...

Playing devil's advocate - if DNA were truly useful (as opposed to the ambiguity of a DNA profile), and it were held by a quango (as opposed to the police) and the sole purpose was to find matches for judge-approved cases (ie restrictions on the source of the DNA and the severity of the case) - then would we all benefit? I've always considered that organised crime would put false DNA in place, but what about the stupid murderers? The very personal violent offenders who leave DNA on their victims as opposed to sprinkled around a crime scene. In a society that you trusted, would you be prepared to put your DNA on record? I think, on balance, I (and my children) have more to fear from the manipulators of society than terrists or murderers, so I probably wouldn't.

Anonymous said...

Are you, or have you ever been, a pig taunting cow?

Anonymous said...

It is already known that some burglars are known to surreptitiously pick up ciggie ends from outside pubs known to be the haunt of other criminals specifically so that these can be left in obvious places during a burglary.

The problem with a tool which "proves" that someone was in a place is that this supposedly infallible tool gets relied upon too much by stupid police; once subverted it makes life easier for crims, not harder.

DJ said...

And let me be the first to state the 0ther obvious point: a one in a million DNA match is good evidence once a suspect has been identified by other means, but if you DNA test 250,000 people from a single locality, and so limited gene pool, then a match is worthless.

RAB said...

Dammit Julia! I was going to do this one over on CCIZ. As you know Bristol is where I live. I used to live just round the corner from the victim at one time, and know the area very well.

The Avon and Somerset Constabulary have cocked this one up most royally, as they seem to manage to do almost across the board these days.

They have clutched at so many staws, they must have enough for a decent sized haystack by now.

Let's review the case...

This poor woman was last seen alive when having drinks with friends in a pub in Park Street, a 20 minute walk from her flat in Clifton.

On the way home she bought a Pizza, then in another store she bought some cider. She is on cctv doing this.

Her boyfriend who is allegedly away visiting his parents returns a few days later and reports her missing. Her keys, bag, wallet, the cider and coat is in the flat, but the pizza has gone missing. So she obviously made it home and was not abducted in the street.

Christmas morning her body is found 3 miles away round the back of the Ashton Court Estate by the quarry dumped on the side of the road. No real attempt to conceal the body and we havent had anywhere near as much snow as the rest of the country.

But the Police do not know where she was killed (strangled) when she was killed, or by whom.

She was found fully clothed, minus one sock and no shoes on.Now obviously she would not have left her flat in that condition so I believe she was killed in her flat

Her landlord is an eccentric intellectual and they therefore go for the Jill Dando ploy initially and arrest the weirdo! Then release him on bail.

She has not been sexually molested and yet Plod is checking the Brisol sex offenders register! Why? Doh! I forgot to rape her before I killed her! better dump the body and get another victim then (the Press has built this up to be a big panic round here, leads the local news every night).

Then they make a big deal of looking for the sock. She may have been strangled with it. In a fuckin pigs eye she was! You'd be hard pressed to strangle a Gerbil with it. They are taking up drains in the Clifton area looking for it. Guys, the bins havent been emptied for a month round here for no good reason whatever, and I havent seen Scenes of Crime rifling through mine, and I live a mere 20 mins walk away.

Now they want to DNA test the entire male population of Bristol?? Well fuck that! they can kiss my ass for my DNA, cos that's the only way they are going to get it, and spit it into a test tube!

Hell yes, It's a civil Liberties thing!

Jesus! think of the cost and the time and the perp, or perps, as has already been said will be in Rio by now, or anywhere at all as far as our clueless Constabulary are concerned.

For what it's worth (and I used to work in the Crown Court folks) my instinct says she was killed at home by someone who knew her very well. They ate the pizza and a row ensued, she was strangled in a fit of rage and her body removed and dumped. Not easy I warrant,but possible.

So I would be re-checking her boyfriend's alibi very carefully myself. Sorry boyfriend if I'm wrong, but there it is.

If there is a more useless Police Force in the entire country then I have yet to encounter it.

JuliaM said...

"O well, in Communist China, it is used to be the case that one are not alowed to leave their city without permission from the government. I will not doubt that one day the UK government will get some "great" ideas from China."

Heh! Mind you, the 'one child' policy would resolve our welfare bill...

"And let's not forget that once the police have your DNA on record they will never relinquish that record..."

Absolutely! I wonder if they are telling people that? So many seem to meekly comply, under the impression that if 'the authorities' ask, it must be above board...

"In a society that you trusted, would you be prepared to put your DNA on record?"

No. Because it gives that society the impression that you 'belong' to them. And I don't. I belong to me.

"Are you, or have you ever been, a pig taunting cow?"

'Pig taunting'? Ah, you've clearly seen my abysmal attempts at 'Angry Birds' then.. :)

JuliaM said...

"The problem with a tool which "proves" that someone was in a place is that this supposedly infallible tool gets relied upon too much by stupid police..."

I'm not all that worried about stupid police. But the lazy ones; they worry me a lot.

"...but if you DNA test 250,000 people from a single locality, and so limited gene pool, then a match is worthless."

Quite. So, there must be something else behind this. I wonder what it is?

"Dammit Julia! I was going to do this one over on CCIZ."

Plenty of room ion this murky pool. Dive in! :)

Actually, the more blogs that feature it, the better.

"If there is a more useless Police Force in the entire country then I have yet to encounter it."

The 'Mail' was reporting yesterday morning that the top brass want to move out some of the youngsters in the squad and put in some 'old hands'. That's a pretty ominous sign, don't you think?

Anonymous said...

on the face of it not a bad idea as long as it is volutary, why wouldn't you want to be eliminated from enquiries? oh yes and you could be sure that the data was destroyed if of no use, yeah right it would be!

Shahbaz said...

DNA testing by way of oral swabs is by far the standard procedure of sample collection as it's really quick to perform; nevertheless DNA tests, such as paternity testing.
DNA Testing