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The number of profiles on Ireland's DNA database doubled in 2019

The database is regarded as one of the State’s most important tools for fighting crime.

THE NUMBER OF personal profiles on Ireland’s DNA Database grew by more than 50% last year, with over 27,500 profiles now featuring on the reference index.

The database, which commenced operation in November 2015, is regarded as one of the State’s most important tools for fighting crime and provides gardaí with investigative leads in previously unsolved serious crimes.

According to Forensic Science Ireland (FSI), there were 27,565 profiles on the database at the end of last year – up from 17,994 in 2018.

FSI’s annual report also revealed that the database was used 18,746 times last year, with drugs and toxicology accounting for more than half (10,480) of those cases. The database was also accessed 653 times for sexual assault cases.

Meanwhile, the database identified 780 hits in 2019, assisting in 1,011 cases ranging from burglary and criminal damage to sexual assaults and suspicious deaths.

The crime solving capacity of the DNA database also grew last year: at the end of 2019, it reached 43% – meaning that 43 out of every 100 crime scene samples uploaded onto the database are linked to a person.

In addition, 1,456 crime stains were added to the crime stains index, bringing its total to 6,782 stains.

Launching the FSI report this morning, Minister for Justice Helen McEntee welcomed the continuing growth of the database.

“Forensic Science Ireland provides a critical service within Ireland’s criminal justice system,” she said.

“While An Garda Síochána are involved in the collection of evidence, be it physical or digital, FSI analyses and evaluates most of the physical evidence from crime scenes, and represent this in court.

“FSI has made an invaluable contribution since its establishment in 1975.”

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