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Australia signs up to international DNA data exchange program

by Euan Brown •
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Australia and Britain have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) allowing law enforcement agencies to access each other’s DNA databases as part of international efforts to tackle transnational crime.

Australia’s involvement in the pilot exchange will be facilitated by the Australian Federal Police (AFP), however, there will be no requirement for the procurement of any new IT systems as a result of the MoU, said an AFP spokesperson.

“The memorandum of understanding will enable more systematic database-to-database exchange… allowing Australia to further contribute to international criminal investigations and to fight transnational crime,” said Justice Minister Michael Keenan.

At present the AFP can make requests to access international police agency Interpol’s DNA database.

Within Australia, CrimTrac co-ordinates information on DNA profiles held in the separate databases maintained by state and territory police forces. The National Criminal Investigations DNA Database contains about 750,000 DNA profiles.

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