DNA exchange with Germany proves fruitful

The DNA accord between Belgium and Germany is paying off. Both countries decided to exchange DNA data in criminal investigations. This has resulted in some 3,000 matches since the system was introduced two weeks ago. At the same time, DNA traces from 52 Belgian murder cases and 91 cases of sexual assault and rape can be linked to German dossiers.

However, this does not mean that all these cases can be solved. "Not necessarily," says Bieke Van Hooydonck of the National Institute for Criminology and Criminalistics.

"But it can give detectives certain clues about the fact that the same person is behind crimes that happened in Germany and in Belgium. This can be about murder or rape, but also about burglaries and gangs on the move. You can trace them in this way, and establish links between different files."

Belgium also has DNA exchange agreements with the Netherlands and France.