DNA database only comprises 8,000 samples in seven years

The DNA database for the purposes of criminal investigation and civil identification entered 8,339 profiles in seven years of existence, a number far less than initial estimates reports Publico.

The database of DNA profiles, which allows authorities to cross quickly with samples taken at crime sites, is now seven years old and according to the website of the DNA Profile Database Surveillance Council, received between 12 th February 2010 and 31 December 2016, 8,139 samples, of which 5,820 are condemned (71%).

Last year, 1,538 DNA profiles were entered, 126 more than in 2015, when 1,412 were inserted. The years 2013 and 2014 were those in which more profiles were collected: 2425 and 1733, respectively.

In the first year of existence, 56 samples were inserted, increasing to 277 in 2011 and to 698 in 2012.

According to the data provided by the National Institute of Forensic Medicine and Forensic Sciences, entity responsible for the database, there are also 2,136 problem samples (collected at crime scenes), 15 of relatives of missing persons, 125 of professionals and four of volunteers.

In seven years, 134 requests from 27 countries were made for cross-checking of 270 profiles, according to available data from the Supervisory Board, an independent administrative entity that controls the DNA profile database and reports to the Assembly of the Republic.

The database allows cross-checks of samples collected at the crime scene, and victims, with the profiles already identified and recorded, and collect DNA samples from people or corpses and compare them with those of relatives or with existing ones In the database, with a view to their identification.

In a conference held last year, the director of the Laboratory of Scientific Police of the Judiciary Police, Carlos Farinha, considered that the number of DNA profiles available in the database is still “very reduced” and identified as one of the problems the ignorance of the legislators on the subject.

As an example, he said that France has 400 times more profiles than Portugal, Germany 200 times more, Switzerland 30 times more and the Czech Republic 20 times more.

At the time, Carlos Farinha also said that, unlike other countries in Europe, Portugal does not have DNA profiles of defendants.


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