50 serious crime suspects identified using new DNA checks

Photo: Depositphotos.com

Fifty potential criminals have been identified by their DNA over the past two years, in a trial carried out by the national forensic institute NFI.

The trial involved automating the comparison of DNA samples that are not complete, or are contaminated, with DNA stored in the NFI data base on a regular basis.

The NFI deals with some 20,000 pure and 600 other DNA samples a year in its investigations into serious crime. The new suspects were identified by cross-checking the incomplete samples through the data bank every two months, rather than just once during the investigation as had been the norm.

The matches were found for a range of serious crimes including shootings, kidnapping and sex crimes, the NFI said.

Police forensic advisor Thalassa Valkenburg said the crimes may never have been solved without the extra DNA checks. “In a few cases police had their eyes on a suspect but this provides an addition to the evidence they already have,” she said.

Some 1,400 samples are now being checked every two months, covering more than 1,000 cases.

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