UK: How accurate is the National DNA Database (NDNAD)?

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A parliamentary written answer (see below) revealed that 13.7% of the DNA profiles are "replicates" (duplicates in plain language). The Home Office Minister said this was because profiles had been loaded more than once due to people giving different names or different versions of their name.

This begs the question: How accurate are the remaining 86.3% where there is only one DNA profile held? How many of the profiles are linked to the person's correct name?

Genetics: Databases
(Written answer, House of Commons, 10 July 2007)

Mike Penning: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many individual records were added to the national DNA database under section 10 of the Criminal Justice Act 2003, in each year since 2003. [146965]

Mr. McNulty: Section 10 of the Criminal Justice Act 2003 amended the Police and Criminal Evidence Act to extend the power to take and retain DNA samples to all those arrested for a recordable offence. This legislation came into effect on 1 April 2004.

The number of profiles added to the National DNA Database for each year since 1 April 2004 under this power (including those who were later charged or convicted) is as follows:


2004-05: 468,177
2005-06: 607,940
2006-07: 661,433

It is currently estimated that 13.7 per cent. of profiles held on the NDNAD are replicates, i.e. that a profile for a person has been loaded on more than one occasion (one reason for this is that the person gave different names, or different versions of their name, on separate arrests). Thus these profiles refer to the following estimated numbers of individuals:


2004-05: 404,037
2005-06: 524,652
2006-07: 570,817

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