DNA sampling and other forensic procedures conducted on suspects and volunteers under the Crimes (Forensic Procedures) Act 2000 Review October 2006

ISBN 1-9211-3158-6
Category Reports and submissions
Publication Date 1 October 2006

Summary

The Crimes (Forensic Procedures) Act 2000 clarified and expanded the power of police officers to take DNA samples and conduct other types of forensic procedures. The Act required the Ombudsman to keep under scrutiny the exercise of these powers for the first four years of their use.We have previously reported on the DNA sampling of people convicted of a serious indictable offence. This second report deals with DNA sampling and other forensic procedures conducted on suspects and volunteers. The focus of our review is on whether police officers and others involved in forensic procedures are complying with their legislative obligations, and are discharging their functions fairly and effectively.We found that the implementation of the Crimes (Forensic Procedures) Act has provided police with further tools for use in the investigation and prosecution of criminal offences. This has generally been achieved with due regard to the rights and interests of people police wish to undergo forensic procedures. However, we did identify a number of legislative and procedural issues for consideration by Parliament and relevant agencies, and other key issues that should be kept under scrutiny into the future.

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