Tuesday, 16 November 2004 - 9:01am |
National News

Retrospective DNA samples scores hits on database

1 min read

The ability to take retrospective DNA samples from imprisoned offenders is translating into a significant number of hits on the Police national database said Detective Inspector Stu Allsopp-Smith, Field Crime Manager for Auckland Metro Police unit.

The Criminal Investigations (Bodily Samples) Amendment Act which came into effect in April this year gives Police the power to obtain DNA samples from imprisoned burglary suspects, and the ability to obtain a person’s DNA profile through buccal (mouth) swabs. The Act also extended provisions to include a broader range of offenders.

Mr Allsopp-Smith said the operation involved nationwide co-operation between police districts, ESR and the Department of Corrections.

"In the two-and-a-half months from 15 April, we "back captured" just under 1,000 prisoners nationwide," said Mr Alsopp-Smith.

"Our profiling unit went through and gave us a list of all those who met the criteria and weren’t on the databank."

An inmate file was generated for every eligible inmate and sent off to the relevant district which liaised with the local prison and Corrections staff who assisted Police obtain the DNA sample.

"The results help achieve more case clearances and show that those offenders who are in prison are there justifiably."

To date the DNA databank had received 759 samples from the process, of which 671 had been analysed and entered into the database. From these, nearly 13 per cent were identified with links to crimes.