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Relatives of suspects in criminal investigations are to face having DNA tests and their confidential medical records released to the authorities if they refuse to co-operate with the police.
Internal government guidelines on the use of the DNA database seen by The Independent on Sunday instruct the police to ask for medical files belonging to the relatives of criminals so their blood and tissue samples can be tested for DNA.
The secret document, prepared for police forces by the Home Office, reveal that families of suspects, and those with similar genes, are being targeted by investigators.
The guidance says officers can pretend they are doing a general DNA "sweep" when asking for swabs from people they believe are related to a suspect. And it says that people who refuse to give DNA samples should be regarded as suspicious.