The Telegraph’s crime correspondent admits to increasing concern about government databases, and wonders whether efficiency has been a victim of unseemly haste:
Police, by and large, like databases and the collection of information on individuals. And they are pushing at an open door with this Government, which has some deeply authoritarian instincts. There’s also been a tendency in recent years to launch a new law or initiative or re-organisation before existing measures have been allowed to bed in and their strengths and weaknesses have been assessed.
It would be good to know, for example, that the national criminal DNA database is actually being used efficiently by police and the criminal justice system to catch criminals, just as it would be good to know that court records on convicted criminals are getting to those to whom they matter – ie schools.