LYON, France – INTERPOL has launched direct online access to its global database of DNA profiles, enabling member countries’ police services to submit and check records in seconds.
The creation of this new service, accessible via I-24/7, INTERPOL’s global police communications system, enhances the ability of police in INTERPOL National Central Bureaus (NCBs) and throughout member countries to make instant international ‘cold hits’ – matches of individuals or crime scenes with no previous connections.
'Criminals who have murdered, robbed or raped innocent citizens in multiple countries will now be more easily exposed, identified and apprehended, because police in INTERPOL’s member countries will immediately know whether a suspect of interest to them is also a suspect in another country,' said INTERPOL Secretary General Ronald K. Noble.
INTERPOL designed the database, called the DNA Gateway, with the assistance of experts from member countries to enable DNA profile matching across all major marker systems, including those developed by the European Union and United States.
To maintain the highest level of data protection, DNA profiles in the database are anonymous, with member countries retaining ownership and control of how the data is used and accessed in accordance with their national laws.
'The beauty of INTERPOL’s DNA Gateway is that it offers investigators around the world a fast and secure way to link cases which would otherwise never be connected, and to do so without compromising either criminal investigations or the privacy of citizens,' said Mr Noble.
INTERPOL’s General Secretariat, NCBs and member countries’ law enforcement services continue to develop innovative and secure solutions to share important police data as widely as possible.
The INTERPOL system is compatible with the data search engine used by the signatory countries of the European Union’s Prüm Treaty, which governs the exchange of police data, and with the US Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Combined DNA Index System (CODIS).
The FBI is creating a conversion feature within its CODIS software so that data submitted by the 24 countries currently using this programme can be easily matched with records in the INTERPOL DNA Gateway.
'With the extension of our global stolen travel documents database, INTERPOL has helped member countries secure their borders from dangerous criminals and terrorists. By enabling direct access to its DNA Gateway, INTERPOL can help local police protect their citizens from crimes such as murder, rape, robbery and burglary committed by international criminals,' said Secretary General Noble.
Although the newly created INTERPOL database contains only 65,000 records from 37 member countries, it has already led to 93 matches involving nine countries.
Forty-three of INTERPOL’s 184 member countries operate national DNA profile databases, with 11 more under development. With the new online service, all INTERPOL member countries can submit DNA profiles electronically, conduct automated searches, and receive positive or negative replies.