Redfern Legal Centre have been hearing from people who have been approached by police requesting DNA samples. They are people who have served a term of imprisonment and so the samples are sought in what is known as ‘backcapture’ from untested former offenders. This is often despite of years of good behaviour. Refusing a court order is itself a criminal offence.
We recognise that DNA evidence can be very helpful in turning police investigations into successful prosecutions, but backcapture is now being done where there is no suspicion or investigation. There is simply the power to do so, and it is being used.These are not people who are the target of a police investigation. Some of them have not had contact with the police for many years, but they have all had police arrive on their doorstep recently, with a collection kit and a letter (not a court order).
The testing of untested former offenders is authorised under the Crimes (Forensic Procedures) Act 2008 (NSW).
You can find information on Police and Crime on the Find Legal Answers website.