The government has been warned it faces defeat in the House of Lords over its plans to hold almost a million people's DNA profiles for up to 12 years. Conservative Baroness Hanham said holding DNA when there had been no prosecution was "quite unacceptable". DNA profiles of anyone arrested in the UK, apart from Scotland, have been kept indefinitely, regardless of conviction. But in December the European Court of Human Rights ruled that holding the DNA of innocent people was unlawful. The Policing and Crime Bill, which includes provisions that would allow the home secretary to make regulations to bring about the changes to the database, received its second reading in the Lords earlier. 'Major principle' The government plans to hold DNA profiles of those cleared of crimes - or never even charged - for six years, except in cases of serious violent or sexual offences when they will be retained for 12. The details of about 4.5 million people are currently held with around one in five of them not having a current criminal record. However the government was warned to expect defeats if changes were not made at later stages.

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