INDEPENDENT NEWS

Police Face Three Month Wait For DNA Results

Published: Tue 5 Dec 2000 11:53 AM
Police are facing huge delays in solving crimes including homicides because of a hold-up in DNA testing, National's Police spokesperson Brian Neeson said today.
"There is a queue of 750 exhibits from 120 cases including homicides, sexual assaults and burglaries facing an average wait of three months for DNA testing," Mr Neeson said.
Mr Neeson obtained the information through written parliamentary questions to the Police Minister.
"We also know that in Wellington no further DNA samples are being collected for the databank because police have had to make cutbacks to save money.
"Are we hamstringing our police? How can they complete important investigations such as the Lundy case, the Blakie case and now the latest murder in Thames if they do not get forensic data, especially DNA, promptly?
"Homicides and sexual assaults are harder to solve the longer the investigation takes. It is imperative that forensic advice be delivered to an inquiry team as quickly as possible in order to advance the case towards a conclusion.
"Mr Hawkins is running down our police force. If he continues to have his way our police force will resemble something out of 'Police Academy' rather than the police force New Zealanders put their faith in.
"Police must have the resources to fight crime to their best ability. A three month wait for DNA testing is not good enough," Mr Neeson said.
Ends
A printable formatted copy of this press release will be available on http://www.national.org.nz along with an archive of previous releases.

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