Vanessa Lynch invited to the FSS, UK & the NFI, Holland

Following a recent visit to the Forensic Science Services (FSS) in London, UK in July, Vanessa Lynch was once more invited to the FSS’s largest DNA Lab in Birmingham, as well as the NFI (Netherlands Forensic Institute) in The Hague, Holland,  August 2007.

Vanessa’s trip was funded by Carte Blanche which ran a feature on the DNA Project & how other countries are tackling crime through the use of DNA Database Intelligence. The programme, which was aired onSunday, 2 September 2007, gave a fascinating insight into theDNA Labaroties and capabilities of the FSS and the NFI .

Mr Allan Matthews, the International Business Director for the FSS, gave an informative interview in which he illustrated how the use of the UK’s National DNA Database has translated into thousands of crimes solved and offenders convicted. The team were also invited into the vast and numerous DNA laboratories, which house the dna profiling equipment, and which have the capacity to process in excess of40 000 dna profiles per month.

The FSS is an internationally renowned centre of excellence for casework, research, training and consultancy. It has assisted over 60 countries in the field of forensic science. FSS experts visit forensic facilities overseas, to review work practices, advise on the latest technology and promote the implementation of techniques validated in itsown laboratories. It has over 2,500 employees based across the UK and the FSS has six sites that process DNA samples for casework, with three sites that deliver specifically to the UK NDNAD. The three DNA profiling units for the UK NDNAD have state of the art automation facilities to ensure the most efficient processing of samples.

The UK’s National DNA Database® was the first of its kind in the world and has received widespread acknowledgement as the most important advance since fingerprinting in the prevention and detection of crime. It is a dynamic database, as profiles are constantly added to it. The Forensic Science Service® is contracted to run The National DNA Database® on behalf of the Home Office. Following requests from other countries the FSS has produced database software (FSS-iD™) based on its experience running and developing the UK database.

For more on the FSS visit

Vanessa Lynch then went on to Holland, to the prestigious NFI, in The Hague, which is housed in one of the most modern and glorious buildings in the forensic science industry. Vanessa was shown around the NFI facility by Holland’s National DNA Database Manager, Mr Kees van der Beek, who commented that it was not only part of his job but also a pleasure to receive Vanessa Lynch at the NFI. He added that Vanessa’s devotion to the application of DNA-testing to solve crimes in South Africa is admirable and deserves to be assisted. The Dutch DNA Database also had only stains and suspects until 2005 after which time a new law was approved to include convicted offenders due to the number of persons on its DNA-database being too small. The NFI now plays a major role in Holland as a national centre for knowledge & expertise and contributes in various ways to the progress of forensic expertise among partners in the criminal law chain.

For more on the NFI visit

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