Thursday, January 28, 2010

DNA Database solves only 0.6% of crime

Dizzy Thinks has unearthed some Home Office figures that seem to suggest that the enormous government DNA database is far from a “vital crime fighting tool”.

It turns out that crimes solved where DNA matching to the database was used represent just 0.6 - 0.7% of total recorded crime in the country. It should also be born in mind that these crimes were not solved purely on the basis of DNA, other detection methods were used. To my knowledge the Home Office has yet to release figures for the number of crimes where DNA matching alone has led to the identification of a suspect.

All of this raises the question of the return on investment of the database. The DNA database cost £2.52m to run in 2008-2009 and as I said was involved in solving only 0.6 - 0.7% of all crime reported. The Home office states that the annual cost of a police officer including pensions, NI, overtime allowances etc is £48,000 so the DNA database represents 52.5 police officers. Which would you rather have?

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