25 September 2023

Police matchmakers with new DNA data

Start the conversation

The Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission (ACIC) has unveiled a newly enhanced national database of DNA records, equipping police and forensic scientists across the nation with a powerful new national investigative tool.

In a statement, ACIC said the National Criminal Investigation DNA Database (NCIDD) helped police solve crime by linking DNA profiles from a crime scene with convicted offenders, suspects, volunteers, missing persons or unknown deceased persons throughout Australia.

“The database also allows police to match profiles from two or more unsolved crime scenes, linking seemingly unrelated police investigations,” the Commission said.

It said the latest enhancement of the NCIDD enabled kinship matching, familial searching and advanced direct matching.

“DNA profiling is a forensic identification tool of considerable power,” it said.

“The chance of two unrelated individuals sharing the same DNA profile is in the order of one in a billion — making a match between a crime scene profile and a suspect crucially important.

“DNA evidence has been used to implicate criminals in serious offences such as sexual assault, armed robbery and murder, as well as helping to solve many high volume crimes such as burglary.

“Just as importantly,” it said, “DNA has also clearly established the innocence of many people who might otherwise be suspects for a crime.”

Welcoming the development, the Minister for Home Affairs, Peter Dutton said the new functionality would also help police identify disaster victims and missing persons.

“Similar technologies used in the United States, the United Kingdom, New Zealand and Canada have led police to serial rapists and murderers who had long eluded detection and arrest through traditional methods of investigation,” Mr Dutton said.

The NCIDD has been operational nationally since April 2001 with more than 1.2 million DNA profiles uploaded in that time.

Start the conversation

Be among the first to get all the Public Sector and Defence news and views that matter.

Subscribe now and receive the latest news, delivered free to your inbox.

By submitting your email address you are agreeing to Region Group's terms and conditions and privacy policy.