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Police take entertainment workers' DNA and prints

POLICE in southern China have started to keep DNA records of employees in entertainment venues such as nightclubs and KTVs, a move that has outraged some people in the industry.

All employees would need a certificate proving they have had their DNA, fingerprints and handwriting recorded by the police before they can continue their job, Yangcheng Evening News reported today.

Long Shijun, the deputy director of a local police station in Guangzhou City's Baiyun District, said they were taking these records to improve the surveillance of entertainment venues, which were long considered a hotbed of crime.

Long said 11 KTV had sprung up in the precinct since 1995, which had greatly threatened public security, according to the report.

He promised that the record of DNA, fingerprints and handwriting would be sent directly to the city police's database, minimizing the danger of the records being leaked.

The report said opponents of the process said it stems from a deeply rooted prejudice against nightclub employees, considering them highly likely to commit crime.

They say other countries only take DNA and fingerprint records of people with previous convictions, claiming the collection of such private data in advance violates the legal principle of innocent until proven guilty.

Guangzhou's DNA database, established in 1992, is China's biggest with about 300,000 records. It also possesses more than three million sets of fingerprints.


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