Security Journal

, Volume 29, Issue 4, pp 640–660 | Cite as

Cross-border crime patterns unveiled by exchange of DNA profiles in the European Union

  • Wim Bernasco
  • Marre Lammers
  • Kees van der Beek
Original Article


The aim of this study was to make a head start with unveiling transnational spatial patterns in offending. To that end, data are used from DNA profile exchange between The Netherlands and 18 other EU member states that have implemented EU legislation on forensic cooperation. Information was collected on all DNA stains entered into the database, including the region in The Netherlands where the stain was secured, the type of crime and how many matching DNA profiles had been identified in each of the other 18 countries. The results suggest that currently the profiles of offenders who are active in other Prüm countries make up for about 4 per cent of all DNA stain profiles in the Dutch DNA database. The highest share of cross-border matches is found in the southeastern part of The Netherlands, where The Netherlands borders one of the most densely populated regions of Germany.


cross-border crime offender mobility DNA European Union Prüm treaty 



The reported research was part of the project Prüm Implementation, Evaluation and Strengthening of Forensic DNA Data Exchange (PIES) that was supported by the Program Prevention of and Fight against Crime (ISEC) of the Department of Home Affairs of the European Commission (project number HOME/2011/ISEC/AG/PRUM/4000002150, grant agreement number: 30-CE-0498536/00-03). The sole responsibility for the findings reported and opinions expressed in this article lies with the authors. The Commission is not responsible for any use that may be made of the information contained therein. The authors thank the guest editors and reviewers for helpful comments on a previous draft of the text.


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Copyright information

© Macmillan Publishers Ltd 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Wim Bernasco
    • 1
    • 2
  • Marre Lammers
    • 1
  • Kees van der Beek
    • 3
  1. 1.Netherlands Institute for the Study of Crime and Law Enforcement (NSCR)AmsterdamThe Netherlands
  2. 2.Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, Department of Spatial EconomicsAmsterdamThe Netherlands
  3. 3.Netherlands Forensic Institute (NFI)The HagueThe Netherlands

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