Brave New Brighton?

The Argus, Brighton's local newspaper, had a weird headline yesterday:

Police demand DNA from men with historic convictions for being gay

'Police turned up on the doorsteps of men and ordered them to hand over their DNA – for being gay. Officers went to the homes of three men and demanded they be allowed to collect samples from them in case they were guilty of unsolved crimes.

The men were picked out because they had been convicted of the outdated offence of gross indecency. And those who refused faced being arrested and taken to a police station for questioning. The tactic was used by officers as part of Operation Nutmeg, the force’s move to solve old crimes by collecting DNA samples from rapists, murderers and child sex abusers in case they were responsible but never caught.

But those convicted solely of gross indecency were also grouped in the directive and received a knock on the door – despite national guidelines saying they should not be. Two of the men were so concerned by the incident they called the Brighton LGBT Switchboard to see how it affected their legal rights. The historic anti-homosexuality offence of gross indecency, which was famously used to convict Oscar Wilde, was repealed in 2003...'

For full article click here. Best comment on The Argus's website:

"Well they're all undesirables aren't they? Walking the streets or cruising around in their cars, eyeing you up and just making you feel uncomfortable. This story just re-enforces my views. Not that I'm prejudiced mind, after all, some of my best friends are policemen ..."


P├ętrus said…
Laurence, no man in this country has ever been convicted of "being gay"

Those convicted were convicted on the basis of their actions not their sexual persuasion.

The Bones said…
Petrus, I cannot account for The Argus's terrible reporting and liberal use of the English language.
Genty said…
I can remember the days when homosexuality was illegal. And as far as I can remember gays, who were a strong and quite visible community in Brighton even then, were left alone unless they were discovered in a sexual act in a public place. The "outrage" to public decency also applied to heterosexual couples.
It was more likely that a homosexual would be arrested for importuning. No credit to the police in those circumstances for they seemed too frequently to act as agents provocateurs.
I can see no reason why men, who must be getting on in years now, should be subject to this invasive test for a conviction which must have long been spent under English law and which surely constitutes a breach of human rights law.
It conjures up an unfortunate picture of policemen sitting in a comfortable office trawling CRB for easy targets instead of getting out on the streets to tackle current crime.
Lolalola said…
Laurence, an exact replicate of this was in Manchester 2 weeks ago- police did exactly the same thing up here. Qinthehive
The Bones said…

That is weird.

Pearl said…
I don't get it- is the liberal secular police state/new world order forcing homosexuality on people or is it unfairly criminalising gay men? Get your conspiracy story straight at least
P. Standish said…
The police operation referred to is not aimed specifically at those convicted in the past of homosexual offences, it takes in all those convicted of sexual crimes in the past, and is part of the build up of the DNA database. This, is quite old news, as the Home Office guidelines have already been changed to exclude these people, but Stonewall seem to be pushing it a lot in recent weeks, probably for propaganda purposes.