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Six more police forces to receive DNA-testing gear

Kyodo

The National Police Agency will deploy automated DNA-profiling equipment to six more prefectural departments by next March to speed up criminal investigations and the identification of bodies recovered from disasters, police sources said Tuesday.

As a result, 11 prefectural forces will have the equipment, which is capable of testing about 80 samples at the same time. Using conventional methods, experts need to test samples manually — a method that is too slow to respond to requests from investigators.

Objective evidence such as DNA test results has come to play an important role in criminal trials, the sources said.

In 2012, the police submitted some 270,000 samples for DNA-profiling tests, a more than tenfold increase from 2005.

The NPA received ¥940 million in the fiscal 2012 supplementary budget to deploy the equipment in the Kanagawa, Aichi, Hyogo, Miyagi, Ishikawa and Hiroshima prefectural police departments.