The effectiveness of the current use of forensic DNA in criminal investigations in England and Wales

Amankwaa, Aaron and McCartney, Carole (2021) The effectiveness of the current use of forensic DNA in criminal investigations in England and Wales. WIREs Forensic Science. e1414. ISSN 2573-9468 (In Press)

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Official URL: https://doi.org10.1002/wfs2.1414


In this article, we consider the effectiveness of DNA analysis in criminal investigations. Through this investigative tool, unknown victims, suspects, and serial offenders have been identified. At the same time, wrongly charged and convicted individuals have been eliminated from investigations or released from custody following DNA testing. We know forensic DNA analysis is powerful in individual cases/certain crime types, but its aggregate contribution to criminal detections is low and questioned. There is little evidence to demonstrate its actual contribution. We examined the possible reasons for the low impact of forensic DNA, with some recommendations that may further maximize its utility. Available evidence demonstrates that there remains a need to ensure value for money in continued investment in forensic DNA analysis. An evaluation of trends in criminal activities and detection opportunities utilizing DNA evidence may help in identifying specific areas where DNA is most useful, and resources can be focused. Additionally, the potential of integrated multi‐biometric analysis/systems and other evidence types should be explored.

This article is categorized under:

Forensic Biology > DNA Databases and Biometrics
Forensic Biology > Forensic DNA Technologies
Jurisprudence and Regulatory Oversight > Expert Evidence and Narrative

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: criminal investigation, DNA, effectiveness, forensic DNA, forensic DNA analysis
Subjects: M200 Law by Topic
Department: Faculties > Business and Law > Northumbria Law School
Depositing User: Elena Carlaw
Date Deposited: 12 Feb 2021 14:32
Last Modified: 31 May 2021 14:42

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