The Application of DNA Technology in England and Wales

Christopher H. Asplen

Executive Summary

England is widely recognized as having the most effective and efficient approach to the use forensic DNA technology in the world. With a forensic database that currently contains the DNA profiles of over two million individuals, the National DNA Database of England and Wales:

  • Delivers over 1,700 crime scene to crime scene or suspect to crime scene hits per week
  • Maintains a 40 percent chance of obtaining a match between a crime scene profile and a “criminal justice” (arrestee or suspect) profile loaded into the database
  • Adds between 8,000–10,000 arrestee or suspect profiles to the database per week
  • Adds between 1,000 to 1,500 crime scene profiles to the database per week
  • Increases the suspect identification rate for domestic burglary from 14 to 44 percent when DNA is available at the crime scene
  • Solves 0.8 other crimes for each crime solved with DNA
  • Prevents 7.8 other crimes for each custodial sentence resulting from a DNA based conviction
  • Will contain profiles of the entire “criminally active population” by March 2004

This paper identifies those factors which contribute to the successful application of DNA technology and DNA databasing as an investigative tool, fully integrated into the criminal justice system.

 Earn a Degree in Crime Scene Investigation, Forensic Science, Computer Forensics or Forensic Psychology

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