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Bizarre and Gripping DNA Test Stories

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At one time, you could stuff a piece of chewing gum under your boss’s desk and play the innocent party – not any more. One office boss threatened his staff with a DNA test to find out who the guilty chewer was. Tony Price, managing director of an IT firm, was so angry after he found gum squashed under his desk that he sent out a memo demanding his 80 staff submit to a test to weed out the culprit.

Leaked To the Media

But after his plan to put his staff through a test was leaked to the media, he said he was only joking. He then said that he would force his workers to take a lie detector test. It turned out his interest in tracking down the culprit using a DNA test and lie detectors might be down to his penchant for television detective dramas, although he told the BBC, “Gum was a problem in the office.” When the offending gum stuck to his trousers, despite banning gum in the office, he threatened the lie detector tests. One woman was happy to take the test because she said she thought she had found a way to get round it. The fact is, only a DNA test could give accurate proof of the culprit. However, such a test breaches employees’ human rights. Tests of this kind can in fact be carried out on a vast range of DNA samples including gum, used Kleenexes and even hairs.

‘Spit Kit’

However these tests have now been used to convict people who commit what would have been previously viewed as minor offences. In September 2005, a new precedent was set when a man spat in a traffic warden’s face – a test had been introduced for wardens to protect staff from assault. The man pleaded guilty after his saliva was tested with a ‘spit kit’ becoming the first driver in the country to be convicted on evidence gained in this way.

Gathering Evidence

The driver spat at the warden after being told his tax disc was out of date. The warden gathered evidence of the offence by taking a photo of the driver on his camera phone, than waited four minutes for another warden to arrive with the ‘spit kit’.

DNA Test Kit Protect Wardens

The spit kits were introduced in May 2004 to about 80 traffic wardens in the Manchester area. The DNA test is conclusive proof and the kits proved effective in protecting attendants from abuse. The DNA swabs taken from parking attendants are sent for analysis and can lead to a prosecution for assault.

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