Under 10s who exhibit signs of future criminality should be DNA swabbed, thinks the new spokesman for the Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO):
"If we have a primary means of identifying people before they offend, then in the long-term the benefits of targeting younger people are extremely large. You could argue the younger the better. Criminologists say some people will grow out of crime; others won't. We have to find who are possibly going to be the biggest threat to society."
If this sounds like the stuff of science fiction, it's not: since 2004 anyone under the age of 18 has been sampled on arrest, and their details logged permanently regardless of whether they're ever charged. By next year there will be 1.5 million children on the DNA database. Singling out potential deviants at childhood has been tried by every repressive state in history. The only thing that changes is the technology - and the excuse.