Police to reopen 4000 cold cases with DNA database

The UK government is to spend a further £350,000 to review 4,000 "cold case" sex crimes using advanced DNA analysis techniques.

The UK government is to spend a further £350,000 to review 4,000 "cold case" sex crimes using advanced DNA analysis techniques.

The £1m Operation Advance project has already led to 30 convictions with a further seven cases awaiting trial. This came from a review of 11,215 cases which led to re-examination of 423 cases and 116 matches against the National DNA database (NDNAD).

"Almost all of the offenders convicted so far have proved to be persistent and prolific violent criminals with offending histories that stretch from the present day back over many years," a government statement said.

However, the Home Office confirmed recently that 550,000 profiles in the NDNAD were incorrectly recorded, and 12% of the more than four million profiles are "replicates". According to its 2005/6 annual report, the NDNAD also holds 150,000 children's profiles, the profiles of some 200,300 "retained acquittals", and 139,000 profiles of people who have been neither charged nor cautioned.

Lord Justice Sedley, an Appeals Court judge, went on record last week saying it would be fairer and remove racial bias in the NDNAD if everyone's DNA was profiled.

However, Michael Marper is objecting in the European Court of Human Rights that the NDNAD has retained his profile even though he has not been convicted of a crime.

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