The Curmudgeon


Sunday, August 26, 2007

Genetically Modified

Well, who would have thought it? The Government has admitted that at least 550,000 files on its terrorist-busting, crime-obliterating, police-friendly, ethnic-minority-enhanced, child-proof, suspect-efficient database are "false, misspelt or incorrect". This is about one-seventh of the total, which includes rapists, murderers, a hundred and fifty thousand children, and other undesirable persons such as those cunning fiends, the "suspects arrested but not charged". Certain elements of the police, who are presumably paid by the hour, would like to see it expanded beyond the present four million names, in order to include "people caught dropping litter, dodging rail fares or failing to scoop up their dogs' waste". However, the cunning of a certain type of criminal fiend knows no bounds. Some people have actually given false names or failed to make clear how their names are spelled; obviously, it is a very good thing that these untruthful persons are on the database, so that the public can be protected against whichever ones actually exist once the Government can find them. Others have simply been mistranscribed; and the Government does not know how many more files, beyond the 550,000 already identified, enjoy a similar degree of typographical flexibility, so that "MPs have questioned whether the false data could lead to innocent people, whose names may have been maliciously given to police by suspects, being questioned about crimes they have not committed". Of course, such a thing can never be: according to a spokesbeing for the Ministry Formerly Known as Unfit for Purpose, "the police and DNA custodian unit, which oversees the database, [are] working hard to get rid of inaccurate files". This is certainly reassuring.


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