The move coincides with Sweden joining the EU database of fingerprints and DNA samples. Police officers in the Netherlands will be the first to get access to the database with Nordic neighbours Finland likely to be added in 2014 and then the Baltic nations.
“Once this in operation it will happen automatically. New profiles that are added will be checked immediately. This gives us the possibility to find criminals in other countries,” said Joakim Länninge of the Swedish National Police Board (Rikspolisstyrelsen) to the TT news agency.
At present the Swedish national laboratory of forensic science has an estimated 155,000 DNA profiles of convicted and suspected criminals in their database. In addition, they also hold DNA samples from unknown criminals.
The new ruling is likely to speed up investigations involving police forces from two countries. Swedish police are already able to get access to DNA samples from other countries but it usually involves a lengthy process which must be accompanied by a formal request from the National bureau of investigation (Rikskriminalpolisen).
In March The Local reported on Sweden’s imminent move to join the European DNA data-sharing system. The system is based on the Prüm Convention, which was adopted to enable signatories to exchange data regarding DNA, fingerprints, vehicle registration and other personal information.
“This can be very positive for us,” Fredrik Gårdare of the Stockholm police told SVT at the time.
“We estimate that a third of all burglaries are carried out by international gangs and the vast majority are people who are not previously known to us so we hope this will help clear up more crimes,” he added.