DNA bank could help anti-terror efforts

The Interior Ministry is considering a proposal by Britain’s Scotland Yard for the creation of a DNA bank containing genetic information about all suspects arrested by the Greek police, sources have told Kathimerini. The idea is believed to have been proposed during a recent visit to Athens by British counter-terrorism experts, who have reportedly undertaken to advise their Greek counterparts on how to tackle an emerging domestic terror threat. According to sources, the British officers stressed the importance of the measure in view of the recent spike in terrorist attacks in Athens. A top-ranking police officer admitted to Kathimerini that British police have a more sophisticated approach to tackling terrorism. «The British have many technical means at their disposal, from (surveillance) cameras to the most advanced systems of recording conversations. It is no surprise that they were puzzled at the way the Greek police handle terrorism,» he said. The creation of a DNA bank had been considered by the Greek police in the past, but eventually shelved. British and Greek officers had discussed the eventuality in 2002, a year before they succeeded in breaking up terrorist group November 17. However, Alternate Minister Christos Markoyiannakis, who is in charge of public order, is said to be seriously interested in the proposal. A ministry source told Kathimerini that such a data bank would be a «step forward in the fight against terrorism.» «It would enable authorities to maintain data on all suspects… now we are obliged to destroy all data at the end of each criminal investigation,» the source said. It is believed that the idea will be discussed after the debate is concluded on whether to install surveillance cameras across the capital.

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