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DNA testing of burglary suspects to be debated

Tony Ryall National Justice Spokesman

7 December 2000

DNA testing of burglary suspects to be debated in Parliament

A National Bill that will allow DNA samples to be taken from burglary suspects will be debated in Parliament, National's Justice spokesman Tony Ryall said today.

"Burglary is a serious offence and National wants to do all it can to assist Police solve more burglaries and reduce crime. Police tell us that compulsory DNA testing of burglary suspects will help them achieve that.

"Under the current law Police can take DNA samples from convicted burglars for filing on the national database for matching against DNA found at other scenes. But in the case of burglary suspects, where there is a database match the Police cannot get an evidential sample for Court use without the permission of the accused.

"This Bill will allow Police to obtain a court order requiring the accused to provide a DNA sample.

"The revelations this week of a three month delay in DNA testing because of resourcing problems will come under more scrutiny when this Bill is debated in Parliament.

"This plan was announced last year as part of National's law and order policy. The Private Members Bill was put into the ballot in March this year and was selected today.

"National's Bill will help catch more burglars," Mr Ryall said.

Ends

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