Older Gays Persecuted for Spent Convictions

“Manchester and Northumbria police are visiting gay men convicted of consenting, victimless same-sex behaviour and demanding they provide DNA samples. In some cases, the men’s convictions date back three decades and were under homophobic laws that have since been repealed,” reports Peter Tatchell, Director of the human rights advocacy organisation, the Peter Tatchell Foundation.
“According to information I have received from the victims, police officers have turned up unannounced on their doorsteps and handed them letters requiring them to give DNA samples to be stored on a police data base alongside the DNA of murders, rapists and child sex abusers.
“The men have been warned that failure to comply will render them liable to arrest.
“The Home Secretary and Chief Constables must call an immediate halt to this homophobic witch-hunt and write personal apologies to all the men affected. They must give public assurances that the DNA samples will be destroyed. ”
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In 2010 the Home Office announced that convictions for consenting victimless same sex acts that would now be legal would be wiped off the records. To date only convictions before 1967 are being cleared and this is only for individuals who make applications.