Police Granted New DNA Powers

The Swedish Parliament has passed legislation giving the police expanded authority to collect DNA samples from people suspected of serious crimes.

The new law, which goes into effect on January 1st, has been billed by the government as a way to help the police track down repeat offenders. It lets the police collect DNA from anyone suspected of committing a crime that could result in a prison sentence, regardless of whether the sample is needed for the investigation.

If the suspect is convicted and sentenced to prison, the police will keep the DNA sample in a database. But they must destroy it if the suspect is acquitted or merely given a fine.

The police will also have the authority to demand samples from people whose DNA may be helpful in solving an investigation even if they are not suspected of a crime. Those samples are to destroyed when the investigation is finished.

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