http://www.engineeringnews.co.za
  SEARCH
Login
R/€ = 13.69Change: -0.05
R/$ = 12.32Change: -0.01
Au 1168.78 $/ozChange: -0.02
Pt 1083.00 $/ozChange: 1.00
 
 
Note: Search is limited to the most recent 250 articles. Set date range to access earlier articles.
Where? With... When?








Start
 
End
 
 
And must exclude these words...
Close Main Search
Close Main Login
My Profile News Alerts Newsletters Logout Close Main Profile
 
Agriculture   Automotive   Chemicals   Competition Policy   Construction   Defence   Economy   Electricity   Energy   Environment   ICT   Metals   Mining   Science and Technology   Services   Trade   Transport & Logistics   Water  
What's On Press Office Tenders Suppliers Directory Research Jobs Announcements Letters Contact Us
 
 
 
RSS Feed
Article   Comments   Other News   Research   Magazine  
 
 
Jun 12, 2012

Wednesday is crunch time for DNA database

Back
Africa|India|PROJECT|transport|Africa|Australia|Canada|China|New Zealand|South Africa|United Kingdom|United States|Criminal Intelligence Tool|Prosecutorial Tool|Service|Vanessa Lynch
Africa|PROJECT|transport|Africa||Service|
africa-company|india|project|transport|africa|australia-country|canada|china|new-zealand|south-africa|united-kingdom|united-states|criminal-intelligence-tool|prosecutorial-tool|service|vanessa-lynch
© Reuse this



The Secretariat for Police is set to present a DNA policy, which is going to underpin the second draft of the DNA Bill, to the Portfolio Committee for Police on Wednesday. The Secretariat of Police provides strategic advice to the Minister of Police.

The DNA Bill will allow South Africa to expand its DNA database for use as a criminal intelligence tool.

One of the supporters of the bill is the nongovernmental organisation, the DNA Project, under the leadership of Vanessa Lynch. Lynch and her team have been passionate lobbyists for the South African Police Service (SAPS) to expand its DNA database.

South Africa does not have a large DNA database as current legislation has kept it in check at around 130 000 profiles. Therefore, unlike the US and some 50 other countries, South Africa does not have a DNA database filled with a large pool of potential suspects that can provide the police with a clue as to who could have committed a crime.

“Currently the taking of DNA samples from suspects and the inclusion of DNA profiles onto the DNA database in South Africa is limited by the fact that we have inadequate legislation to allow for the proper development and use of a DNA database as a criminal intelligence tool,” said Lynch on Tuesday.

“The way in which the database is currently being used is to match a known suspect (arrestee) with crime scene evidence on a case-by-case basis, as a prosecutorial tool.

“This is also not mandatory and so, more often than not, it is not done unless requested by a prosecutor.”

In order for a DNA database to be used as a more effective criminal intelligence tool, South Africa must expand its database and make it compulsory for all suspects to have their DNA samples taken at the time of arrest. Convicted offenders will also have to contribute to the database, while all crime scene samples found at a crime scene must be analysed for DNA. All of these profiles have to then be entered into the database, notes Lynch.

“In this way we can link unrelated cases where there is no suspect, we can link a known suspect to other crimes, or we can establish if a serial offender is at play.

“The greater the size of the DNA database, in particular the reference index on the database – in other words, the index containing profiles of known persons, such as suspects and convicted offenders – the greater the chance of a match to a known person when an unknown DNA sample, collected from a crime scene, is entered onto the database.”

Lynch said the DNA database will work in much the same way as the fingerprint database, which has recently been enlarged to include fingerprints from not only from the SAPS, but also the Department of Transport’s (DoT's) license library, as well as the Department of Home Affairs’ (DHA's) identity document library.

“The amalgamation of these three fingerprint databases means that when an unknown fingerprint is lifted from a crime scene, the chances of it matching a known source in the fingerprint database will be much greater. Instead of just being searched against the SAPS database, it is compared to fingerprints held in both the DHA's and the DoT's databases. In other words, the greater the size of the database, the greater the chance of a match.”

Lynch, who was consulted in the drafting of the secretariat's DNA policy, said that if it is accepted by the portfolio committee this week, the State’s legal advisers will start work on the second draft of the DNA Bill over the course of the next few months, with the bill then tabled in Parliament around September.

“The process of deliberating on the DNA Bill will then continue from September and, depending on how many issues are debated and what kind of reaction it receives from the public, it will hopefully be promulgated within a few months. We cannot tell, however, what will transpire during this time.”

One of the concerns raised against an expanded DNA database has been around who should be included in this database, with some members of the legal profession arguing that there is no justification for taking a DNA sample from someone who is arrested for failure to pay their parking tickets.

At least 50 countries have DNA databases, with the first started in the UK in 1995. The US, most of the European Union, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, India and China all have expanded databases.

The UK has the largest database in the world (per capita), whereas the US has the largest number of profiles. According to statistics supplied by Interpol, in 2008, the US database had around 6.4-million offender profiles collected from convicts, arrestees or suspects, and 242 000 forensic profiles from DNA collected at crime scenes.


 

Edited by: Creamer Media Reporter
© Reuse this Comment Guidelines (150 word limit)
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Latest News
An end to wage negotiations within the local government sector could be in sight as a conciliator’s proposal, setting out a number of settlement suggestions to resolve the deadlock, was expected on Monday. The Independent Municipal and Allied Trade Union (Imatu)...
Development financier Eastern Cape Development Corporation (ECDC) executive Noludwe Ncokazi on Friday said the organisation had the “huge responsibility of ensuring business continuity”, following the resignation of ECDC subsidiary Automotive Industry Development...
South Africa’s second-largest oil refinery, Engen Refinery (Enref), is set to undergo a three-day planned maintenance outage from July 9 as part of an ongoing maintenance programme to ensure that the facility, which delivers a significant portion of South Africa’s...
More
 
 
Recent Research Reports
Real Economy Year Book 2015 (PDF Report)
There are very few beacons of hope on South Africa’s economic horizon. Economic growth is weak, unemployment is rising, electricity supply is insufficient to meet demand and/or spur growth, with poor prospects for many of the commodities mined and exported. However,...
Real Economy Insight: Automotive 2015 (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Real Economy Year Book comprises separate reports under the banner Real Economy Insight and investigates key developments in the automotive, construction, electricity, road and rail, steel, water, gold, iron-ore and platinum sectors.
Real Economy Insight: Water 2015 (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Real Economy Year Book has been divided into individual reports under the banner Real Economy Insight and investigates key developments in the automotive, construction, electricity, road and rail, steel, water, coal, gold, iron-ore and platinum sectors.
Real Economy Insight: Construction 2015 (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Real Economy Year Book has been divided into individual reports under the banner Real Economy Insight and investigates key developments in the automotive, construction, electricity, road and rail, steel, water, coal, gold, iron-ore and platinum sectors.
Real Economy Insight: Electricity 2015 (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Real Economy Year Book has been divided into individual reports under the banner Real Economy Insight and investigates key developments in the automotive, construction, electricity, road and rail, steel, water, coal, gold, iron-ore and platinum sectors.
Real Economy Insight: Road and Rail 2015 (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Real Economy Year Book has been divided into individual reports under the banner Real Economy Insight and investigates key developments in the automotive, construction, electricity, road and rail, steel, water, coal, gold, iron-ore and platinum sectors.
 
 
 
 
 
This Week's Magazine
NHLANHLA NENE The main constraints to economic growth are domestic
Finance Minister Nhlanhla Nene earlier this month stated that, while South Africa’s 2015 economic growth target of 2% was achievable, it was not enough to deliver the tax revenue needed to combat the country’s challenges.
The World Steel Association has published the 2015 edition of the World Steel in Figures report, which shows an increase in steel production as well as provides an overview of steel industry activities from crude steel production to apparent steel use.
The 25-year master plan for Gauteng’s Aerotropolis project will go through a process of approval and adoption during June and July, says Aerotroplis project manager Jack van der Merwe. “We are also in the process of putting together a special purpose vehicle (SPV) to...
SOLAR PANELS The existing buildings in the Coega Industrial Development Zone lent themselves well to rooftop solar panel installations
The Coega Development Corporation (CDC) plans to fit 15 of its buildings, totalling 127 000 m2 of roof space, in the Coega Industrial Development Zone (IDZ), in the Eastern Cape, with solar panels.
The Supreme Court of Appeal’s (SCA’s) November 2014 judgment, ordering steel producer ArcelorMittal South Africa (AMSA) to hand over the 2003 Environmental Master Plan for its Vanderbijlpark steel plant to environmental pressure groups, confirmed the right of civil...
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Alert Close
Embed Code Close
content
Research Reports Close
Research Reports are a product of the
Research Channel Africa. Reports can be bought individually or you can gain full access to all reports as part of a Research Channel Africa subscription.
Find Out More Buy Report
 
 
Close
Engineering News
Completely Re-Engineered
Experience it now. Click here
*website to launch in a few weeks
Subscribe Now for $96 Close
Subscribe Now for $96