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Science key to clever crime fight



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PRESS RELEASE hr*Jw A U S T R a L I A ^ Λ Peter McGauran MP Shadow M inister for Science and Technology

Federal Member for Gippsland CO M M O N W EA LTH

PARLIAMENTARY LIBRARY M iC A H

SCIENCE KEY TO CLEVER CRIME FIGHT

Major crime suspects should be required to provide blood, skin and other body samples to boost police in the fight against crime, a meeting of forensic scientists was told today.

Addressing the Australian Academy of Forensic Science in Canberra, the Shadow Minister for Science and Technology, Peter McGauran, said police should be empowered to unleash the latest scientific advances on criminals.

Mr McGauran said police had been hamstrung in efforts to use biological testing to link suspects to crime scenes.

"Misplaced concerns with ethical and civil liberty issues are hampering the application of the latest forensic technologies," he said.

"The community wants more protection against crime, and that requires taking compulsory samples of hair, blood, skin swabs and fingernail scrapings from key suspects."

Mr McGauran said forensic science breakthroughs would be critical in the push to deter crime. .

"Forensic science techniques are rapidly improving, especially with developments in genetic biology.

1 - "DNA testing will eventually identify criminals 'beyond all reasonable doubt'." Mr McGauran said forensic science had mistakenly received bad press since the Lindy Chamberlain case.

"But the Chamberlain case has little bearing on recent developments in forensic technology,"

Mr McGauran said the establishment of motive and other primary evidence would hold sway in the criminal justice system for some time to come,

'But the door should be open to making increasing use of scientific evidence.

'It will signal the community is prepared to use every resource to protect itself against violent crime."

For further information, contact Peter McGauran: (03) 3 4 / 0164 or (061) 44 6744 Wednesday, August 12, 1092