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DNA changes: Police given new powers before charges paid

Police will have the power to take DNA swabs from anyone arrested for a serious crime under proposed new laws.

Legislation will be introduced into state parliament today stipulating suspects can be tested before charges are laid.

Opposition leader Matthew Guy has indicated the Coalition will support it, despite suggesting it was overdue.

Some corners have pointed to privacy issues, but Police Minister Lisa Neville told Ross and John it was no different to fingerprint laws.

“I think it’s a good idea.”
-Ross Stevenson

“I’m not sure what the difference between taking someone’s fingerprint and taking DNA is, in terms of evidence,” Ms Neville said. “Except (DNA) is much more reliable.”

“If charges are dropped or withdrawn, that DNA is destroyed.”

“If we can be faster and more effectively identify offenders, you do ultimately reduce the number of crimes they commit, which makes us safer and ultimately hopefully means we’re not increasing the jail populations as much as you might think.”

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