Hot on HuffPost Parents:
British police want to create database of future offenders starting at kindergarten
Gary Pugh, director of forensic sciences at Scotland Yard and the new DNA spokesman for the Association of Chief Police Officers thinks collecting the DNA of children as young as five years old "if they exhibit behavior indicating they may become criminals in later life" is a good way to get a handle on crime before it starts.
'If we have a primary means of identifying people before they offend, then in the long-term the benefits of targeting younger people are extremely large,' said Pugh. 'You could argue the younger the better. Criminologists say some people will grow out of crime; others won't. We have to find who are possibly going to be the biggest threat to society.'
How would the police decide who should give a DNA sample? They'd rely on the recommendations of teachers, a suggestion that makes both parents and educators uncomfortable.
'It could be seen as a step towards a police state,' said Chris Davis of the National Primary Headteachers' Association. 'It is condemning them (the children) at a very young age to something they have not yet done. They may have the potential to do something, but we all have the potential to do things. To label children at that stage and put them on a register is going too far.'
In my classroom experiences, most children exhibit traits similar to those of criminals at one time or another:
Taking something belongs to someone else
Unwillingness to share
Identifying at-risk children to get them into programs to help them is one thing, gathering DNA evidence in preparation for future crimes sounds like society has given up on them at the age of five and that's just wrong.
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