Black church and community leaders have launched a new online opinion to gauge public opinion on government plans to retain the DNA of citizens with no criminal record, many of whom are discharged suspects.
Black church leaders and community groups have joined protests from civil rights campaigners over the UK government’s decision to retain DNA profiles on close to a million innocent people for up to 12 years.
Black-led churches in the UK are alarmed by findings in the fourth national census of patients in NHS psychiatric hospitals, which indicates that African and Caribbean communities are seriously over-represented.
Black church leaders have joined health experts in welcoming findings from a new opinion poll showing widespread public opposition to adding the DNA of innocent mental health patients to the National Criminal DNA database.
Liberal Democrat MP Sarah Tether has secured a House of Commons debate on the impact of the proposed National DNA Database, which takes place today. It has been welcomed by human rights, mental health and church groups.
Churches, faith groups, racial justice campaigners and civic and community organisations need to work together more determinedly in the face of continuing serious failures in mental health provision, says Black Mental Health UK.
The campaigning group Black Mental Health UK has condemned the rapid rise in the number of suicides in prison over the past 12 months, and is seeking the backing of community and faith groups in its call for urgent government action.