Police across Australia now have access to superior DNA profile matching, which can help solve cold cases and identify disaster victims, missing persons and unidentified human remains.
We added this enhanced forensic capability to our National Criminal Investigation DNA Database during the year.
Known as Integrated Forensics Analysis functionality, it enables kinship matching, familial searching and advanced direct matching.
Kinship matching involves collecting samples from consenting biological relatives of disaster victims or missing persons to check for matches with unidentified DNA profiles on the database. This can speed up investigations of unidentified bodies and missing persons, and allow faster identification of disaster victims.
Familial searching involves analyses of a DNA sample found at a crime scene to establish an indirect or partial match with a relative whose DNA profile is already stored on the database. For serious crimes with no direct DNA profile match, and where police have exhausted other investigative avenues, familial searches can help track down perpetrators through close relatives whose DNA profiles are stored on the database. This enhanced capability has been used successfully overseas—similar technologies 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.
The database has more than one million DNA profiles added by authorised law enforcement partners using samples collected from crime scenes, convicted offenders, suspects, items belonging to missing persons and unknown deceased persons.
To make the system available to all state and territory police agencies, we have worked over the past few years to identify a suitable system that can meet law enforcement requirements, be configured for legislation and business rules for each jurisdiction, and resolve complexities associated with systems integration.