This post has been cross posted on Harry's Place
There's an excellent piece in The Times here by Sean O'Neill where he makes the case for the modern police methods so feared by swivel eyed Cif ranters and the likes of Sunny Hundal :
If the civil libertarians, the conspiracy theorists and the Conservatives had their way, Abdul Azad would probably never have been caught. Azad was convicted of a brutal stranger rape in Stafford in July 2005 after fragments of his skin were recovered from under his victim’s fingernails and yielded a DNA profile matching his record on the national database.Read the whole thing - its excellent and the conclusion is powerful :
We should, of course, be wary of the authoritarian tendency to extend draconian powers of surveillance or asset seizure from the police to local councils, quangos and other ill-equipped bodies. But to tell detectives investigating murder, rape, kidnap and other crimes of violence that they cannot harness the full power of DNA, CCTV or phone-tracing is senseless.
Far from sleepwalking into a surveillance society, we are marching, mad-eyed and paranoid, into a situation where those who would seek to protect us from the most dangerous criminals would be denied the ability to do so.