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Should police officers be allowed to retain personal information about criminal suspects?

  • Police should be allowed to retain personal information

    Police officers should be allowed to retain personal information about suspects. This data can be used to solve the current crime, or a future crime. For instance, DNA evidence could be used to help solve old crimes, or a future one that might be committed. Care must be taken to protect it, but police should have the right to use it.

  • Yes, they should.

    Concerns about ‘biosurveillance’ extend beyond the state to anyone who can infiltrate the system and obtain access to an individual’s DNA profile. This might include
    organized criminal or terrorist groups, or anyone seeking to track down an individual. For
    example, individuals on witness protection schemes may have their appearance altered but cannot change their DNA. If someone becomes suspicious about them and collects their DNA, their identity could be revealed by matching this to a stored DNA profile on a database, if this is accessible and linked to their old identity. Their relatives might also be found through ‘familial searching’ (looking for partial matches with the DNA profiles of other people on the database). Children who have been separated from an adult for their own protection could also be tracked down by someone with access to a DNA database

  • No, they should not.

    Police officers should not be allowed to retain personal information about criminal suspects. Everyone is innocent until proven guilty by a court of law. Just because someone is suspected of a crime, it does not mean that his personal privacy should be violated by the police. Law enforcement should not be retaining personal information about suspects.

  • They are people, too.

    Law enforcement officers are not above the law. Rather, they are human. That means that they like to gossip and they like to use information that they have to their advantage. For this reason, law enforcement officers should not be allowed to retain personal information about criminal suspects because they will only use this information to treat others unfairly.


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