CLEVELAND Police take DNA samples from 18 children every week, according to figures released today.
The figures, obtained by the Howard League for Penal Reform, show the force took swabs from 929 youngsters aged 17 and under during 2011, including 47 primary school children. The 2011 figure was lower than in 2010 when 1,078 swabs were taken. Durham Police took DNA samples of 676 children in 2011, compared to 979 in 2010.
Frances Crook, Howard League for Penal Reform chief executive, said: “When public money is tight and police forces are shrinking, it is disappointing to see valuable crime-fighting resources being wasted on taking DNA samples from thousands of innocent children while serious offences go undetected.”