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Police to add 12,000 samples of DNA

More than 12,000 DNA samples will be added to a police database next year as the State Government spends $5.7 million to expand DNA testing.
Premier Mike Rann said yesterday the measure and an extra $2 million for new fingerprint scanning would boost crime fighting.
"We are massively widening the DNA web in our fight against crime," he said.
However, the Government was again criticised yesterday for placing detection and punishment of offenders ahead of crime prevention.
Three police specialist testing teams will begin collecting DNA samples from the state's 1200 untested prisoners and home detainees in June.
This will involve taking swabs of saliva from the inside of the cheek.
Laws were passed last year to extend testing but the Opposition criticised the Government at the time for insufficiently funding of technology and staff to do the increased testing.
As well as the DNA testing, finger-printing machines the size of ATM machines will be placed in 14 police stations.
Mr Rann said the fingerprints would immediately feed into a national network, with DNA samples to eventually become part of a national database.
People subject to DNA testing will include those suspected of Committing any serious offence as well as a range of summary offences including illegal use of a motor vehicle, unlawful possession, carrying an offensive weapon, assaulting police and possessing indecent or offensive material.
"By using DNA technology, we have linked people to rapes that occurred in 1995, 1996, 1997 and we've caught people who have been linked to home invasions in the past," Mr Rann said.

Adelaide advertiser (22-5-2003)
Leanne Craig

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