THE Bracks Government is preparing a crackdown on police secretly taking the DNA of Victorians.
Concerns about corruption and police improperly using or releasing DNA details has prompted the Government to move to protect those whose DNA has been seized without their knowledge.
A panel of legal experts has been established to set up controls on how police take, use and store DNA samples collected covertly from genetic material left on items such as clothing and cigarettes.
"The Government is examining what measures are required to regulate the collection and use of DNA samples that are gathered covertly," Police Minister Tim Holding said.
There are no laws in Victoria to govern the secret practice. [Rubbish! What about stealing?]
Police use the samples of skin, hair, sweat and saliva to compare with DNA collected at crime scenes.
But a battle is looming between the Government and Victoria Police over the issue.
The Government is keen to ensure the safeguards are set up and enshrined in law to protect the rights of Victorians whose DNA has been secretly seized. [Stolen.]
But sources said police want to be able continue to take covert samples free from regulation or independent review. [That is stealing! And without regulation that evidence collection could be contaminated? That also makes it easier to plant DNA evidence at a crime scene.]
Documents obtained by the Freedom of Information reveal senior justice figures have warned the Government of the dangers of allowing police to conduct covert DNA sampling without safeguards or regulation.
"Covert collection of DNA material may provide opportunities for improper use of samples, potential for substitution and unauthorised disseminations," one document says.
Legal experts have raised concerns about DNA of innocent Victorians being mistakenly recorded as a criminal sample and added to the criminal DNA database. [What about those people who have had that DNA sample used as evidence against them and who are innocent of any crime but found guilty on that evidence and doing time in prison?]
Others have raised concerns about corrupt police planting DNA evidence at crime scenes.
State Ombudsman George Brouwer warned Attorney-General Rob Hulls and then police minister Andre Haermeyer last year that covert police checks were not covered under law.
Under the Crimes Act, police can obtain a court warrant to take genetic samples from prisoners, criminals and suspects with their consent or by force to add to the criminal DNA database.
Victoria Police were unable to provide details of its covert DNA sampling program.
Murder charge first for DNA data bank link, but not the same as solving the murder
As long as the the prisoners DNA wasn't planted at the crime scene. It is one thing to force prisoners to hand over their DNA and another thing to exploit it.
By Tanya Giles posted 31 October 05
Victorian cops the most corrupt in Australia
A weekly round up of news on the cops. Former Australian Crime Commission Chair says Victorian cops are the most corrupt in Australia -- so they are given extra powers -- and so Melburnians can be patrolled by the army -- and have business deals with McDonalds. Top cops in NSW cleared after investigation -- but another one charged with child slavery. Western Australian police officer leaves the force under secrecy -- and Canberra hospital nurse tells the Federal Police to bugger off.
Military lawyers await probe on DNA tampering
The Army's Criminal Investigation Command said nearly 500 forensic test results from all services dating back 10 years are under review after one of its examiners allegedly faked results. About 119 of those cases pertain to the Navy and Marine Corps.
DNA database fears
UK: IN the relatively short period of time since it was discovered, DNA fingerprinting has become one of the most powerful weapons in the armoury of the police.
The ABC for good or evil?
He had a suspect that he wanted to find guilty based on the chances of a spouse killing a spouse which were greater in anycase, at least more likely than that of a stranger.
First Grabs To Control Our DNA
A small company in Australia has been subjected to gross denials of rights after DNA database technology was stolen from it's company. This one year saga has spawned them to form a new approach to projects of importance to all people.
Worries over DNA and racial profiling
UK: Black men are four times more likely than White men to be on the national DNA database and there is growing concern about racial profiling in criminal investigations.
Lab's Errors Force Review of 150 Virginia DNA Cases
US: WASHINGTON, - A sharply critical independent audit found that Virginia's nationally recognized central crime laboratory had botched DNA tests in a leading capital murder case. The findings prompted Gov. Mark Warner to order a review of the lab's handling of testing in 150 other cases as well.
Witch-hunt targets scientists
QLD: SCIENTISTS at the John Tonge Centre are being threatened with jail in the wake of a government hunt for the source of leaks highlighting serious problems in the forensic laboratories.
Fresh swipe at DNA labs
Scientist Kris Bentley, whose departure yesterday follows that of forensic biologist Deanna Belzer after concerns about "inaccurate" DNA results and unvalidated equipment, issued a scathing resignation letter leaked to The Courier-Mail.
DNA leads 'CSI' cold-case squad to first arrest?
Frozen case? I don't really know what to say about them until they come up with their case. They say it involves DNA evidence but that's the only stuff we know.
Criminal's DNA filed under relative's name
The New South Wales Opposition is calling for an investigation into claims that police have entered DNA data for serious offenders under incorrect names.
DNA fingerprinting 'no longer foolproof'...
The genetic profiles held by police for criminal investigations are not sophisticated enough to prevent false identifications, according to the father of DNA fingerprinting.
THE BUTLER DIDN'T DO IT!
PROFESSOR BARRY BOETTCHER: Now, there should be a law enacted within Queensland so that when cases come up like this they can be brought to attention and if an appropriate authority such as a judge of your Supreme Court considers that it merits further inquiry, an inquiry be ordered.
'Rape' officer clears his name
UK: A former policeman has been cleared of rape after protesting his innocence for 15 years. Judges at the Court of Criminal Appeal in Edinburgh ruled that Brian Kelly, 47, had suffered a miscarriage of justice over crucial DNA evidence.
New unit investigates unsolved deaths?
A new police unit has been established to investigate more than 360 unsolved deaths in New South Wales, with many of the deaths dating back more than 30 years.
Prisoner's bid for review denied
Prisoner Roger Cheney has lost a Supreme Court action to have a judicial review of his 1993 convictions an 30-year jail sentence. Justice Shaw said he was concerned about the prisoner's claim that DNA evidence held by the police could prove his innocence. Although Cheney had requested the results of the DNA tests, he had been denied access to the forensic analysis.
QLD Prisoners DNA Bid THE curious case of Queensland's "cat lady" murder is set to test the state's legal authorities again, with the man convicted of the killing asking the Attorney-General to take the unprecedented step of releasing blood samples for DNA retesting.
Database clears up crimes?
NSW Police Minister John Watkins said at the launch of a Sydney conference of international forensic experts meeting to mark 100 years of fingerprinting in NSW. He said the collection of DNA from prisoners and suspects in NSW during the past two years had led to more than 5,400 matches on the forensic database.
A Question of Innocence
Katrina Bolton: The promise of DNA freeing the innocent as well as convicting the guilty has been repeated by politicians across Australia, usually while DNA laws are being expanded. The promise was made as a national DNA database, ‘Crimtrac’ was created, and it was made as NSW introduced legislation giving unprecedented powers to take DNA samples from prisoners, by force if necessary.
Mouse Trap Game? Tried Until Guilty!
Two New South Wales Labor MPs have strongly criticised the Carr Government's proposed abolition of the 800 year old double jeopardy rule, which stops people being tried a second time for the same crime. The left-wing MPs have branded the reforms as dishonest and unjust in a formal submission to the Attorney-General's department.
Weak Carr Government suspends Innocence Panel
It's a callous disregard for justice! The panel takes applications from convicted prisoners for DNA evidence to be analysed a move that may help in a future court appeal.
JUST BEAT IT! Govt lauds crime-solving technology?
The New South Wales Government says advances in crime solving technology are helping the progress of hundreds of police investigations.
DNA testing causes debate in murder case
The use of voluntary DNA testing in the investigation of a murder case in New South Wales has been applauded by victim support groups who are ill informed about the process said Justice Action's spokesperson Gregory Kable.
Abolition of double jeopardy law a political stunt: NSW Opp
Why draconian laws? What about the re-trial by media that goes along with it? Twice shy?
ARE YOU INNOCENT?
The NSW government has finally appointed somebody (Justice John Nader) to head up its Innocence Panel and has produced leaflets and forms for people convicted of serious crimes (eg murder) to apply for DNA testing if they believe it may help prove their innocence. You can get the info by phoning 1300 881 717 or writing to the panel at GPO Box 45 Sydney NSW 2001.
Is the Westminster System flawed?
Most people would say Lady Di got the boot and NSW has so much trouble getting the Innocence Panel moving. I said hey, what's going on!
Prisoners can prove innocence for $20
Les Kennedy Daily Telegraph reported today that" Prisoners who believe that DNA will prove they were wrongly convicted will have the chance to prove their innocence for a mere $20 administration fee. The move comes 20 months after NSW inmates were asked to provide DNA for comparison with a databank of DNA from unsolved crime scenes for possible convictions.
DNA yours or mine?
Now they have isolated two genes that they say tells you if you're more likely to be depressed. What does that mean? It could mean that you should stay in jail because you are more likely than not to continue your offending behaviour according to a Department of Corrective Services Forensic Psychiatrist.
DNA = Do Not Assume - DNA Controversies!
The national DNA database of all known offenders proposed by Prime Minister Tony Blair could mean that innocent people will be accused of crimes they did not commit.
DNA Evidence of Bipartisanship
Last week the U.S. Congress passed the Justice for All Act, which includes provisions of the Innocence Protection Act. As of this posting, the legislation has not yet been signed by President Bush. Attached is an analysis of the legislation prepared by the Justice Project.
DNA - A Shadow of Doubt
One case points to misinterpretation of evidence that helped put a man behind bars. The other shows just how easy it is to plant falsely incriminating DNA evidence. As our forensic techniques become ever more sensitive, so the possibility of abuse continues to grow.
Murder charge first for DNA data bank link, but not the same as solving the murder As long as the the prisoners DNA wasn't planted at the crime scene. It is one thing to force prisoners to hand over their DNA and another thing to exploit it.
Govt, police 'let off the hook' Haneef inquiry
8 years ago