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Bunting: DNA legislation not panacea for Jamaica's crime problem

Published: Wednesday December 18, 2013 | 5:26 pm Comments 0
Peter Bunting - File
Peter Bunting - File

Jovan Johnson, Gleaner Writer

The National Security Minister Peter Bunting is cautioning against expectations that a proposed DNA legislation will automatically yield positive results in crime fighting.

Earlier this month former deputy commissioner of police in charge of crime, Mark Shields, said the legislation should be the main priority of the Government if it intends to improve the detection of crime and clear-up the high crime rate.

Speaking at this morning’s post-Cabinet press briefing, Bunting said the legislation is expected to facilitate the compulsory collection of samples from suspects and the maintenance of a database with the profiles of the samples.

However, he said this will only become valuable over time after the construction of a database of samples from crime scenes to be used for comparison with samples from a DNA database.

Bunting also sought to explain the delay in bringing the legislation to Parliament.

He dismissed criticisms from the Jamaica Labour Party, noting that they failed to bring the legislation to Parliament despite drafting instructions being given from 2008.

Bunting said the first draft was presented almost four years later, in November last year.

He said the proposed law is expected to go before legislators in January next year.


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