Could a LOCAL DNA Database work in SA?

I received a call from Chris Asplen last night following my recent enquiries into something called ‘LODIS’ – which stands for ‘Local DNA Indexing System’.  This has been used in certain areas in the USA and is literally, as it states, a small local database of DNA profiles which is used by local police departments to combat crime.

By way of example, the Palm Bay Police Department in 2008,  was recognised for its efforts in leveraging the power of DNA and DNA databases in a way that solved crimes quickly and efficiently enough to actually prevent future crime. By turning DNA profiles around quickly and by putting hit information into the hands of all officers immediately, the Palm Bay Police Department, with its local DNA databasing system (LODIS), effectively implemented DNA technology and databasing as an investigative tool, reports Chris.
The difference between this kind of database and a national one is that this database is local. This is based on the premise that most criminals don’t move too far away from the area in which they commit crimes.
What else did they do in Palm Bay? They took DNA voluntarily from a lot of suspects and were able to achieve quick turnaround times. Chris says that the key component to the LODIS concept is a commitment to quick turnaround time. In Palm Bay, their laboratory has results tested and in the database in thirty days. And as a result, police have a piece of evidence that actually helps them solve a case rather than simply confirming an investigation they have already solved after six or eight months of traditional—and more expensive—investigation based on evidence less reliable thanDNA. In other words, they are saying that it is more important to be local and fast.

Could this work in SA? Could we perhaps look to a province like the Western Cape and ask them to put something like this place? I wonder if it could work and what type of results we could get from it? It’s worth looking into….

What do you think?

Read more about LODIS here:

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