Govt gives go-ahead for DNA database25/01/2006 - 18:26:37
The Government tonight gave the go-ahead for a bill to set up a national DNA database.
It will contain DNA profiles from suspected offenders and from crime scenes.
Justice Minister Michael McDowell said the drafting of the bill would begin immediately and would be completed later this year.
“I am on record that I believe a DNA database would make a significant contribution to the fight against crime. This has been the experience elsewhere where databases are already in operation,” he said.
The Law Reform Commission (LRC) has published a report which recommends that a limited database should be established containing the DNA of convicted and suspected criminals, as well as samples from crime scenes.
If a suspect is subsequently not charged with any offence, the DNA sample should be removed from the database.
Mr McDowell said he would be paying close attention to the safeguards recommended by the LRC’s report.
“A database will obviously offer greater possibilities to identify perpetrators of crime. I believe that a database will result in improved detection levels as well as improved efficiency in the use of Garda resources.”
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