A NEW chapter in policing is being unleashed with the growing use of DNA evidence.
Evil Ronald Castree is the latest to be tripped up by the new technology – more than 30 years after murdering 11-year-old Lesley Molseed.
There will be many who agree with forensic science expert Graham Williams in the Examiner today that his arrest and conviction is a fantastic example.
Police now have new skills to find suspects. If DNA helps them to progress inquiries, then that is a useful step forward in the war on crime.
Killers, rapists and others who thought they had got away with crimes committed generations ago must be sleeping badly at the thought they may be caught.
But civil liberties groups rightly raise some legitimate concerns over the storage of DNA samples given by innocent people.
Such is the size of the database that it now holds details of more than 4.5m individuals. A third of these are thought to be people with no convictions or criminal record and the records include 150,000 children.
The potential for mismanagement of the information is huge.
Many people are uneasy at systems which make us all potential suspects – the words Big Brother and Orwellian cropping up regularly.
Couple this with the plans to force an ID card on every person in the UK and it paints a disturbing picture.
A meaningful debate is needed.