Government ‘puts criminals first’

The Press Association carries a brief report on the Third Reading of the Protection of Freedoms Bill:

The Government was accused of putting the rights of criminals ahead of protecting the public as its civil liberties measures cleared the Commons.

The Protection of Freedoms Bill, which cuts back the size of the DNA database and reforms the child protection regime, received its third reading by 320 votes to 227, majority 93.

As the Bill completed its passage through the Commons, Home Secretary Theresa May announced that high-risk criminals not currently on the DNA database would be tracked down and added to it.

She said: “This Government is determined to cut crime and reduce the risk of terrorism at the same time as we restore the freedoms and the liberties that define British society.”

But shadow home secretary Yvette Cooper condemned changes to the DNA database, which cut the period for which DNA profiles of those who are arrested or charged, but not convicted, are held from six to three years.

Hansard has full transcripts of the debates on Monday and Tuesday of this week.