DNA crime register to be expanded

The Swedish government has decided to reduce the threshold for DNA testing of suspected criminals. From the beginning of 2006, anyone suspected of a crime which could lead to a prison sentence of any duration will be required to give a DNA sample.

The sample will be held on a register along with a personal profile of the individual. The details will be kept for ten years after the prison sentence is served.

Currently only those facing a prison sentence of two years or more are required to submit a DNA sample.

“The new law has such a low threshold that essentially anyone who has committed any kind of serious crime will end up [on the register],” said justice minister Thomas Bodström to Dagens Nyheter.

The Swedish proposal follows months of debate in which British success with DNA registers in certain police forces, notably Sheffield, was cited as an example of smart crime fighting.

Bodström said the introduction of a register in Sweden would make it much easier to tie people to crimes from car theft and burglary to far more serious offences.

The DNA analysis will be carried out at the National criminial laboratory in Linköping.

Sources: Dagens Nyheter, SR