skip navigation


Register for Latest Research

Stay Informed
Register with NCJRS to receive NCJRS's biweekly e-newsletter JUSTINFO and additional periodic emails from NCJRS and the NCJRS federal sponsors that highlight the latest research published or sponsored by the Office of Justice Programs.

NCJRS Abstract

The document referenced below is part of the NCJRS Virtual Library collection. To conduct further searches of the collection, visit the Virtual Library. See the Obtain Documents page for direction on how to access resources online, via mail, through interlibrary loans, or in a local library.


NCJ Number: 203971 Find in a Library
Title: Application of DNA Technology in England and Wales
Author(s): Christopher H. Asplen J.D.
Corporate Author: Smith Alling Lane
United Kingdom
Date Published: December 2003
Page Count: 31
Sponsoring Agency: National Institute of Justice (NIJ)
Washington, DC 20531
NCJRS Photocopy Services
Rockville, MD 20849-6000
Smith Alling Lane
London W8 4AG, England
Grant Number: 2002-LT-BX-K003
Sale Source: NCJRS Photocopy Services
Box 6000
Rockville, MD 20849-6000
United States of America

Smith Alling Lane
12 Vicarage Gate, #5
London W8 4AG,
United Kingdom
Document: PDF
Type: Case Study
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United Kingdom
Annotation: Through an examination of the DNA profiling program in England and Wales, this paper discusses the factors that contribute to the successful application of DNA technology in all segments of the criminal justice system.
Abstract: In April 1995, England unveiled the National DNA Database (NDNAD), which propelled the country to the forefront of innovation in the use of DNA. England continues to expand the use of DNA to identify suspects, protect the innocent, and to convict guilty offenders. One factor that contributes to the success of the NDNAD is the progression of database laws in England and Wales. A series of Parliamentary Acts are reviewed that have given law enforcement the right to collect samples and profile individuals arrested for, or suspected of, involvement in a crime. As such, police powers in England and Wales allow them to take samples at far greater discretion than allowed in the United States. Funding is another factor contributing to the success of the NDNAD. The Home Office contributes approximately $5 per citizen, making it a very well funded operation. In order to fund a DNA database project in the United States at that level, the government would have to invest over $1 billion. The third factor contributing to the success of the NDNAD database is its use for volume crimes and not just for violent crimes. By opening up the database for the investigation of nonviolent crimes such as burglary, car theft, and vandalism, for example, its usefulness as a crime prevention technology increases. The short turn around time from sample collection to DNA profiling is identified as the final main factor in the system’s success. Biological samples from suspects and arrestees are typically analyzed within 5 days, while crime scene analysis results take about 24 days. Also discussed in this article is the DNA Expansion Program, which has an objective of profiling every criminally active person in the country by March 2004. Additionally, the advantages and concerns of Forensic Science Service’s “super sensitive” form of DNA analysis known as Low Copy Number (LCN) are discussed. Finally, special projects are described that utilize the NDNAD to meet their objectives. Endnotes
Main Term(s): DNA fingerprinting
Index Term(s): Databases; England; Foreign criminal justice systems; Foreign laws; Forensic sciences; NIJ grant-related documents; Wales
Note: This document is included in NCJ 203970 "National Forensic DNA Study Report: Final Report."
To cite this abstract, use the following link:

*A link to the full-text document is provided whenever possible. For documents not available online, a link to the publisher's website is provided. Tell us how you use the NCJRS Library and Abstracts Database - send us your feedback.