SYDNEY (AFP) – Australian and British police Thursday signed a deal allowing access to each other’s DNA databases as part of an international push to tackle serious crimes such as terrorism, rapes and murders.
Australia’s Justice Minister Michael Keenan, who sealed the agreement with Britain’s Immigration and Security Minister James Brokenshire, said the exchange deal was part of a pilot programme involving the two nations as well as the United States and Canada.
“The interconnected nature of today’s world has created a borderless criminal threat environment,” Keenan said in a statement.
“The signing of this memorandum of understanding supports Australia’s commitment to international law enforcement cooperation which is paramount for safety and security globally.”
The agreement will allow British police to search for DNA profiles from Australia, and for their Australian counterparts to do the same in their database.
Keenan said the Australian Federal Police had already previously assisted British officers in a cold case investigation, and that his government was looking for further opportunities to exchange DNA and other biometrics data across borders.