Forensic Science Lab dealing with serious backlog of cases

Update 9.30am: There are serious backlogs in the number of cases the Forensic Science Lab is dealing with.

The new Forensic Science Ireland report shows that there are particular delays in testing drugs seizures and that the labs are not fit for purpose.

Charlie Flanagan.

A 40% increase in the number of cases referred to the Lab in 2017 also added to delays.

However the report also shows that there have been improvements in DNA matching, with a third of crime scene samples linked to a suspect last year compared to 18% cent in 2016.

Justice Minister Charlie Flanagan thinks this will act as a deterrent.

He said: "All this information we have here with all the profiles and the DNA database also feeds into a climate of deterrents.

People knowing that their chances now of being caught engaging in a serious crime much are higher than was the case a decade ago.

Earlier: Crime scene DNA samples play significant role in catching criminals - Report

DNA samples taken from crime scenes are helping to catch more suspects in murders, assaults and burglaries.

A third of DNA samples from crime scenes that were uploaded to the national database last year were matched to a person.

That is up from 18% in 2016, according to Forensic Science Ireland's annual report.

The database helps to link crimes with a perpetrator through DNA.

Justice Minister Charlie Flanagan says it is playing a significant role in catching criminals.

He said: "They contribute to high profile cases over the course of the year, matters that we hear about daily in our news, significant drug seizures, gangland murders, aggravated and very serious assaults.

"The database continues to be a success with now over 21,000 profiles added in the last year."

- Digital Desk

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