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Public Lecture: The national DNA database: evolution, success and controversy Faculty of Engineering & Science

Event Name Public Lecture: The national DNA database: evolution, success and controversy
Start Date 10th Oct 2012 6:30pm
End Date 10th Oct 2012 6:30pm
Duration N/A
Description

In 2004, the government launched Operation Advance, a programme focused on the use of DNA to identify those responsible for committing serious sexual offences in the past (so-called ‘cold cases’).

The programme was the first to use this science-led approach to identify these offenders, who were thought to have escaped justice. DNA samples kept in storage were analysed using the latest techniques, resulting in the conviction of over 50 of the most serious violent, sexual criminals, with cumulative sentencing of well over 300 years.

This lecture will explore the creation of the programme and its highs and lows. It will examine some of the very latest techniques in DNA profiling and discuss the moral and ethical dilemmas associated with these techniques.

It will examine the offending histories of some of those apprehended and relate victims’ accounts of how their lives have been affected by these offences.

These accounts will also reveal how the victims achieved closure through the power of DNA.