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06.11.2014 02:26 | Our blog

Australian and British police to share their DNA databases

Source: theguardian.com
Tags security, future
Deal will bypass Interpol and might be extended to include US and Canadian forces.
An investigator collects a blood sample. The agreement covers major crimes such as murder, rape and terrorism.
Australian and British police will access each others biological databases to investigate major crimes such as murder, rape and terrorism.
The deal the first in which Australia will systematically open up DNA and biometric records to foreign law enforcement might be extended over time to a network including Canadian and US police.
The Australian justice minister, Michael Keenan, said the move followed a pilot program involving both countries which had delivered leads in a long-term unsolved murder in Britain and other significant operational outcomes.
The memorandum of understanding, which Keenan was due to sign with the British immigration and security minister, James Brokenshire, in London on Thursday, allows each country to bypass the international police agency Interpol when requesting DNA evidence.
The interconnected nature of todays world has created a borderless criminal threat environment, Keenan said. The signing of this memorandum of understanding supports Australias commitment to international law enforcement cooperation which is paramount for safety and security globally.
Addressing a conference of international government ministers on Tuesday, Keenan cited the identification of a Townsville man killed in a US drone attack in Yemen last year as an example of the process, the Australian newspaper reported.
The remains of Christopher Havard, 27, were recovered by US intelligence services and sent to the Australian federal police. In this case, a DNA sample provided by international agencies was matched with a sample held by domestic Australian law enforcement, Keenan told a conference of international ministers on Tuesday.
He said the agreement would enable more systematic database-to-database exchange allowing Australia to further contribute to international criminal investigations and to fight transnational crime.
Australias criminal DNA database now stores the details of about 750,000 people. The AFP will continue to deal with requests on behalf of domestic state police forces.
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