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DNA: Labour soft on crime again

DNA: Labour soft on crime again

The government’s decision not to expand the DNA testing programme to include all convicted criminals is further evidence that Labour is soft on crime, says National’s Law and Order spokesman, Tony Ryall.

“These people are guilty and they should be on the database,” he says.

Earlier this year National committed to extending the DNA programme to take a sample from every person arrested. If a conviction followed, their DNA would be added to the DNA database.

Following National’s policy announcement the Prime Minister said she had an ‘open mind’ on the proposal.

“Why has she backed down now?” says Mr Ryall

“This shows that both she and Phil Goff are completely out of touch.

“Phil Goff says DNA testing is too expensive. National will not put a price on people’s safety.

“Extending the DNA database is about cutting serious crime off at the source.

“Just about every serious criminal has a record of petty crime. If we target petty crime we can help stop more serious crime.

"An abduction and rape in Wellington in 2001 was solved by using a DNA sample collected voluntarily from a shoplifter. If the sample had not been given who knows how long it would have taken to find the rapist. The current law does not require a DNA sample to be taken from shoplifters.

"An offender convicted of lewdly depositing his DNA on door handles of homes and cars in Auckland, was later identified as a serial sex offender using a DNA sample that was given voluntarily. What if he had refused? The current law does not enforce DNA tests for such earlier offences.

"Similarly, a man convicted of the homicide of a Tauranga woman had been convicted of drug dealing the previous year. If his DNA had been taken at the earlier offence, then Police say that offender would have been caught much earlier."

The DNA programme was extended to include more crimes two years ago and, subsequently, the number of DNA-based convictions has increased from 38% to 52%.

“The fact is DNA testing solves a lot of crimes. The more criminals that are tested, the more crimes that are solved. The Government is getting hung up on spurious human rights grounds yet again,” says Mr Ryall.

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