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Nationwide DNA database proposed

A proposal for an Australia-wide DNA database is building momentum, a 7News report has revealed.

The idea for a genetic profiling registry is supported by Police Minister Michael Gallacher, who will put a proposal before the Council of Australian Governments.

By linking DNA samples from crime scenes to a DNA database there is potential to solve a majority of the 60,000 outstanding cases on the NSW crime scene database, supporters say.

POLL: Would you support a DNA database of all Australians?

"It's something that needs to be seriously considered by government." Police Minister Michael Gallacher argues.

Police Commissioner Andrew Scipione told 7News a DNA database could radically alter the way crime investigators conduct their work,

"It could be the difference between solving some hideous crime and having an offender that runs free to commit further crimes for many, many years. It would be a massive game-changer." Scipione says.

Currently only convicted criminals have their DNA imprint recorded.

Civil libertarians argue it is a bad idea that allows governments too much access to sensitive information, and could have dangerous implications if accessed for the wrong reasons.

Supporters of a DNA registry say files would be kept under strict safeguards, and police would only have the right to pursue a suspect with a Supreme Court warrant.