Pruem Decisions

The EU Pruem Decisions allow stored individuals' DNA profiles to be routinely searched against stored crime scene DNA profiles in every EU country. When there is a match the police in the relevant country will be informed and information about potential suspects can be exchanged.

The Pruem Treaty was originally adopted by a limited number of EU countries led by Germany. Since the integration of the Treaty into the EU legal framework in June 2008, DNA data exchange in police daily operations has been regulated by Council Decisions 2008/615/JHA and 2008/616/JHA. The technical and forensic requirements are described in Chapter 1 of the Annex to Decision 2008/616/JHA. However, technical standards are still being developed, partly because of the variety of different DNA profiling systems currently used within the EU.

Large numbers of false DNA matches are expected to occur by chance because of the limited overlap betwen the different profiling systems and because of the large number of comparisons that will be made. The largest number of false matches will occur between individuals' DNA profiles stored on the UK database and crime scene DNA profiles stored in other countries, especially in Germany.

Implementation of the Pruem Directive in the UK has been delayed because of this problem and because the UK DNA Database contains the DNA profiles of large numbers of innocent people arrested in England, Wales and Northern Ireland, in contravention of the 2008 judgment by the European Court of Human Rights in the Marper case.

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