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30 October 12

Key Forensic Services showcases the world’s first rapid DNA profiling equipment at ACPO SIOs Conference 2012

The 'RapidHIT® 200 system can produce a DNA profile in less time than it takes to process an arrestee—under 90 minutes. In partnership with American manufacturer IntegenX Inc., leading developer of rapid human DNA identification technology, Key Forensic Services (KFS) launched the RapidHIT 200 instrument in June this year and will pilot the system with UK police forces in the next few months.

The technology has the potential for applications extending from policing to homeland security and defence, helping create safer communities, and providing rapid biometric identification capabilities to defence and intelligence operators. Rapid DNA techniques have been explored by several forensic service providers, with a view to both speeding up DNA profiling and taking it out of the traditional laboratory environment.

Around the size of a laser printer, the RapidHIT 200 is a self-contained Human Identification (HID) system, designed to automate and accelerate the production of standard DNA profiles from mouth swabs. The swabs are inserted into a sealed cartridge, which slots into the system. Work has already been successfully conducted on a wide range of forensic samples that extends the utility of the RapidHIT 200 beyond the custody suite setting and into the field forward environment for defence and intelligence applications.

"This system revolutionizes DNA profiling, with samples being produced with the suspect still on police premises or within hours of a crime scene being examined. It’s a technology that will change the way investigations are conducted," said Paul Hackett, KFS Group Managing Director. "In criminal investigations, time is what matters. We are very excited to be offering the world’s first rapid DNA profiling system here in the UK, using the skills and expertise of British forensic scientists."

"The RapidHIT 200 system allows, for the first time, rapid DNA analysis at the point of collection, setting a new standard in the usage of DNA profiles as an actionable biometric," added Stevan Jovanovich, Ph.D., President and Chief Executive Officer of IntegenX. "KFS is among the world’s leading forensic science providers and we are pleased to be working with them to introduce of rapid DNA technology to the United Kingdom."

Validation to complete the accreditation of the system for use as evidence in court is underway, and KFS is in talks with associated agencies to agree on the preferred procedure for integrating the system into the Criminal Justice System effectively, including working towards arrangements for charging suspects out of hours. After validation, DNA profiles generated by the RapidHIT system can be used to search not only the UK’s own National DNA Database, but potentially also those of other European countries. 

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