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Innocent until proven guilty?

Discussion in 'Personal' started by blazer, Dec 17, 2011.

  1. blazer

    blazer Star commenter

    This happened to some friends of mine this week. 7am and there is a series of large knocks on the front door. They answer and standing thee are two policemen, another two are at the bottom of the drive and there are twopolice cars parked in the street. The cops ask if their 19 year old son is at home. He is. They see him and arrest him for criminal damage. He is handcuffed and escorted to the car and taken away!

    It turns out that 3 months ago someone threw a bottle through the window of a parked car. The bottle was tested for DNA and it matched the DNA of my friends' son! 2 years earleier he had been the victim of a street robbery and his DNA had been taken to eliminate him from DNA evidence found at the crime scene.

    As it happened the son was able to prove that he had been on holiday in Spain when the bottle had gone into the car! And so was released.

    This just seems so bizarre and OTT. Firstly whose car was it that such minor damage neded the input and expense of a forensic examination involving DNA. Why is the lad's DNA kept on file even though he was not a criminal? Why did it need 4 policemen and handcuffs to take him away when surely a few questions asked at the house would have sufficed for the time being and given them things they could check before making an arrest. Presumably the bottle had been picked up from a recycling bin or from a pub and it was pure chance that he had been drinking from it.
  2. lurk_much

    lurk_much Occasional commenter

    Well he was innocent and not proven guilty.
    The DNA database question is a more concerning. I thought the ACPO guidelines were to only retain the DNA of those that have been convicted. A written query addressed to the local chief constable would be my next step if it had been my son.
    Turning up mob handed doesn't really concern me, it might even be good practice, certainly from the officers pov. Single man patrols are very vulnerable, maybe two twin sets turned up because they had a quiet moment.
    I applaud their efforts to apprehend those involved in criminal damage. I imagine the 'perps' are rarely one time offenders.

  3. v12


    Maybe, just maybe, the19-year-old son of your friend has been involved in other incidents about which he is keeping quiet.
  4. The problem is that acpo guidelines are just that. Most chief officers enjoy making rules for other chief officers to follow but always have an excuse why they cant follow them themselves!

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