Praxis turns up trumps with DNA database

A new National DNA database has been designed by Bath-based software firm Praxis, part of Touche Ross Management Consultants.

Praxis project manager Nigel Reckless says the brief provided by the Forensic Science Service required that the system contained the technical precautions to support the scientific and legislative safeguards built in.

"The database only retains details of current suspects and convicted criminals. Details are removed if there is an acquittal or if the case is discontinued." Access to the system is limited to authorised users, he says.

The world-first database will hold up to 135,000 DNA samples in its initial year, but could eventually contain five million records. The project is aimed at speeding up police investigations.

Praxis was commissioned to develop a prototype last year by Digital, which supplied the hardware for the database.

Last November the company was asked to develop an application and the system was delivered last month.