Majority favour national DNA registry

Nearly 80 percent say that cataloging the DNA of everyone in the country is a good idea

The government should have the right to collect a DNA sample from everyone living in the country to create a national registry that police can use in investigations. 

The results of an Epinion poll taken for DR Nyheder showed that 76 percent of those asked thought a DNA registry was a good idea. Only 14 percent said no, and the rest were unsure.

Police currently only maintain a database of suspects that have been involved in an investigation, and those samples are erased after ten years if a suspect has not been convicted of a crime.

Cops happy
Claus Oxfeldt, the foreman of the police association Politiforbundet, welcomed the results and said it “just made sense” to maintain a national DNA registry.

“It is important to be able to quickly remove suspicion against someone who is wrongly accused,” Oxfeldt told DR Nyheder. “There have been ugly incidents in the past.”

Oxfeldt mentioned the case of the murder of a young girl in Herning on New Year's Eve, 2010. Jan Lindholt Mikkelsen was arrested and his name and picture were published in the media.

It was later revealed that Mikkelsen had no part in the killing

Hacker bait?
In 2012, hackers managed to steal personal information from police databases, and a national registry will put police in possession of highly sensitive personal information.

Oxfeldt denied that protecting DNA information would be a problem.

“Police have handled sensitive personal information for years, and we can handle this as well,” he said.

Politicians wary
Politicians are divided on the idea of a national DNA registry. SF and Socialdemokraterne are skeptical and believe that there are many considerations to consider, including privacy, before establishing a registry.

Only Dansk Folkeparti (DF) is 100 percent onboard.

“When we get the chance, we will beat the drum for introducing a registry”, DF spokesperson Peter Skaarup told DR Nyheder. “It is a good tool for the police that will save money in connection investigations because it would rapidly exclude a number of suspects in serious crimes."

READ MORE: The jury is out on nationwide DNA database

DF has already proposed the registration of all newborns.