Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search


DNA Legislation Enhances Crime-Fighting Weapon

27 May 2002

DNA Legislation Enhances Vital Crime-Fighting Weapon

Justice Minister Phil Goff will introduce legislation tomorrow to significantly increase the use of DNA profiling as an investigative and evidential tool for effective crime fighting.

The Criminal Investigations (Bodily Samples) Amendment Bill will create major changes to the use of DNA, widening the net to catch criminals.

“The legislation will help ensure criminals are brought to justice. The Bill makes several changes including;

- Extending compulsory DNA testing to serious offenders currently in prison who were convicted of relevant offences prior to the law change allowing for testing in 1996.

- Giving police the power to obtain DNA samples from burglary suspects.

- Allowing for the use of mouth swabs to collect samples. Currently only blood samples can be used.

“Extending the legislation to apply to criminals convicted of a relevant offence prior to 1996 means some of the most heinous offenders behind bars will now have to have their DNA included in the database.

“This will mean 400 of our most serious criminals convicted prior to 1996 and still in prison will be compulsorily DNA tested.

“I believe that allowing such criminals DNA profile to be obtained will result in the resolution of previously unsolved crimes.

“Giving police the power to obtain samples from burglary suspects will provide a real boost to cracking down on this crime. The current legislation only gives authorisation to obtain samples for the police database from a person already convicted of burglary.

“While the police have made pleasing progress in burglary resolution rates, the fact that DNA is found at 40 percent of burglary scenes will significantly increase their ability to resolve cases.

“Allowing for mouth swabs to take DNA samples as an alternative to taking blood will mean the process is less invasive and less expensive. Technology now allows buccal samples to provide DNA profiles of the same quality as those derived from blood samples.

“The Bill strikes a balance between extending the use of DNA as a valuable investigative tool in the fight against crime and the recognition and protection of personal rights. While non-consensual taking of samples encroaches on personal rights, with adequate safeguards in place, there are compelling community interests in obtaining DNA samples. These include effective crime control, protecting the innocent and discovering the truth.

“These changes will enhance the fight against crime. This legislation is further evidence of the Government’s commitment to improving the safety of New Zealanders and cracking down on criminals,” Mr Goff said.


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines


Breed Laws Don’t Work: Vets On New National Dog Control Plan

It is pleasing therefore to see Louise Upston Associate Minister for Local Government calling for a comprehensive solution... However, relying on breed specific laws to manage dog aggression will not work. More>>


Corrections Corrected: Supreme Court Rules On Release Dates

Corrections has always followed the lawful rulings of the Court in its calculation of sentence release dates. On four previous occasions, the Court of Appeal had upheld Corrections’ practices in calculating pre-sentence detention. More>>


Not Waiting On Select Committee: Green Party Releases Medically-Assisted Dying Policy

“Adults with a terminal illness should have the right to choose a medically assisted death,” Green Party health spokesperson Kevin Hague said. “The Green Party does not support extending assisted dying to people who aren't terminally ill because we can’t be confident that this won't further marginalise the lives of people with disabilities." More>>


General Election Review: Changes To Electoral Act Introduced

More effective systems in polling places and earlier counting of advanced votes are on their way through proposed changes to our electoral laws, Justice Minister Amy Adams says. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On Our Posturing At The UN

In New York, Key basically took an old May 2 Washington Post article written by Barack Obama, recycled it back to the Americans, and still scored headlines here at home… We’ve had a double serving of this kind of comfort food. More>>


Treaty Settlements: Bills Delayed As NZ First Pulls Support

Ngāruahine, Te Atiawa and Taranaki are reeling today as they learnt that the third and final readings of each Iwi’s Historical Treaty Settlement Bills scheduled for this Friday, have been put in jeopardy by the actions of NZ First. More>>


Gordon Campbell: On The Damage De-Regulation Is Doing To Fisheries And Education, Plus Kate Tempest

Our faith in the benign workings of the market – and of the light-handed regulation that goes with it – has had a body count. Back in 1992, the free market friendly Health Safety and Employment Act gutted the labour inspectorate and turned forestry, mining and other workplace sites into death traps, long before the Pike River disaster. More>>

Get More From Scoop



Search Scoop  
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news