Sussex Police collect ex-cons’ DNA for national database

DNA samples are being collected from ex-convicts in a bid by police to tackle unsolved crimes.

Sussex Police started collecting the samples in September, and will be dedicating many months to tracking down those whose DNA they wish to add to a national database.

They are specifically taking samples from those who have committed the most serious of crimes, including homicide and serious sex offences.

A Sussex Police spokesman said; “DNA evidence has proved to be a vital tool which has helped convict thousands of violent and dangerous criminals and exonerated many innocent people.

“We are working to ensure that all lawful steps are taken to ensure that no opportunities have been missed to secure justice for victims of crime.”

The sampling specifically targets those who have served their time for those serious offences and are back in the community but have not had a DNA sample loaded onto the database since it was created in 1995.

The project, Operation Nutmeg, is being carried out under provisions set out in the Crime and Security Act 2010, and is a nationwide operation.

Work started last month on taking samples and the initial indications are that the task will be completed on target by spring 2013.

Currently, it is understood that a final report incorporating statistics will be published by the Association of Chief Police Officers in September 2013.