Correspondence

Charges On Basis Of Speculative Search Match On The National Dna Database

Home Office circular 58 / 2004 Charges on Basis of Speculative Search Match on the National DNA Database Broad subject: Crime and Disorder…

Documents

Detail

Home Office circular 58 / 2004

Charges on Basis of Speculative Search Match on the National DNA Database

  • Broad subject: Crime and Disorder
  • Issue date: Fri Sep 10 00:00:00 BST 2004
  • From:
    CRIME REDUCTION & COMMUNITY SAFETY GROUP Science Policy Unit
  • Linked circulars:
    016/1995
  • Copies sent to:
    The Chairmen of the Bench,The Chief Crown Prosecutor

  • Sub category: Crime Prevention
  • Implementation date: Fri Sep 03 00:00:00 BST 2004
  • For more info contact:
    Eric Downham 020 7217 8091
  • Addressed to:
    The Chief Officer of Police (England and Wales) The Clerk to the Justices The Clerk to the Magistrates’ Court Committee The Circuit Administrator The Court Administrator The Chief Clerk to the Crown Court The Clerk to the Police Authority (England and Wales)

CHARGES ON BASIS OF SPECULATIVE SEARCH MATCH ON THE NATIONAL DNA DATABASE
Dear Colleague

The Criminal Justice Act 2003 contains provisions that extend the circumstances in which a non-intimate sample may be taken without consent from a person in police detention. These provisions were implemented on 5th April 2004.

As a consequence, The National DNA Database (NDNAD) will contain more information with the chance of a ‘speculative hit’ being correspondingly increased.

As a result of the foregoing, it is likely that the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) will be increasingly asked by the police to advise whether a suspect should be charged on the basis of a match between a profile from DNA found at the crime scene and a DNA profile found on the NDNAD following a speculative search.

This circular amends HOC 16/95, at the relevant section (23) which states:

“The DNA database is an intelligence database only. It is not intended that the results of any analysis carried out solely for the database or that the fact that a match was found during a speculative search will be used for prosecuting purposes.”

Section 23 should be replaced by:

“Speculative searches may be carried out of the National DNA Database and a suspect may now be charged on the basis of a match between a profile from DNA from the scene of the crime and a profile on the National DNA Database from an individual, ** so long as there is further supporting evidence.” **

However, there is a significant chance that matches involving partial DNA profiles (including SGM profiles) will not match if the profiles are upgraded to SGM Plus. Therefore, where any match is on the basis of a partial or SGM profile, then

a) strong consideration should be given to upgrading the partial or SGM profile to SGM Plus __to ensure there is still a match before the matter comes to trial;

b) if there is a decision to charge on the basis of such a match, the supporting evidence needs to be all the stronger. The amount of supporting evidence required will depend on the value of the DNA evidence in the context of the case. A scientist should be consulted where the value of the DNA evidence requires clarification.

This new policy is in line with CPS advice.

This circular has been produced in consultation with the Association of Chief Police Officers and CPS. Any queries relating to this circular should be first resolved at a local level. If thereafter, further information is required on matters relating to the CPS then please contact CPS Policy Directorate, 50 Ludgate Hill, London EC4M 7EX. .

Help us improve GOV.UK

Please don't include any personal or financial information, for example your National Insurance or credit card numbers.