Alec Jeffreys: What use is a national DNA database?

Alec Jeffreys: What use is a national DNA database?


So as of 2007, four million DNA profiles on
the UK database, five million plus profiles on the United States
database, worldwide, so most countries now have a national
database, worldwide we’ve now got about twelve million
plus people, mainly criminals, logged into those databases. Enormously powerful tool in the fight against
crime. So in England and Wales, if you have a crime
scene sample that yields DNA, simply by looking up on the database you’ll
find your prime suspect, in roundabout 53, 54% of cases. In Scotland it’s up at 68%. Quite remarkable. So this is a short cut if you like to a lot
of police investigative work. Get your DNA, you’re probably going to essentially
solve the case on the spot. So the impact’s extraordinary. Major impact on detection rates of volume
crime, like car theft and burglary. The detection rate has shot right up thanks
to the availability of DNA. What we’re now seeing, there are various
international conventions have been drawn up, which now allow information to be compared
between national DNA databases, so both the G8 countries, and separately,
Interpol, have established protocols whereby, you know if you’ve got a crime in Britain
that you can’t solve, well maybe we’ve got a sneaky feeling it
might be a a Dutch person or something like that, or
vice versa. So you start exchanging information to see
if you get matches outside your country, and a number of really quite serious offences
have been solved by exactly that approach.

Danny Hutson

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