DNA testing at a crime scene will soon identify criminals in a matter of hours not days.

The UK Home Office has invested £431,000 in the development of ‘Rapid DNA’.

The Rapid DNA system will enable the identification of suspects in less than two hours

The device being introduced looks like a printer, accepts buccal mouth swabs and it can be used by someone with no expertise.

The device matches the inputted swabs against the national DNA database to find a match.

The method used reduces the time taken to identify suspects at a crime scene from days to hours, this will prevent suspects going on the run or committing other offenses before they are apprehended.

Rapid DNA in is being heralded as a significant revolution in crime scene investigations and DNA testing.

The UK Home Office has invested £431,000 in development of ‘Rapid DNA’ as part of the Police Innovation Fund. Through the endeavour they are hoping to improve the accuracy and speed of identifying suspects at a crime scene, and prevent instances of false identification through DNA technologies.

Every police force in England and Wales receives a share of a £20m Home Office fund for projects aimed at transforming policing.

Earlier this year the first application of Rapid DNA took place in Florida using a system known as RapidHIT 200, which can identify suspects in less than 90 minutes.

Developed by IntegenX in the US and Key Forensic Services in the UK, it can match swabs taken from a crime scene against a national DNA database and produce a match quickly.

The portable device, which looks a little like a printer, can take DNA and produce a match much faster than modern DNA technology.

More importantly, the device does not require any specific specialist knowledge to be used.

All it requires is that someone input a sample of DNA, and it will then cross-reference the sample with the DNA database.

It takes about three minutes for a user to input the sample into the system and begin the analysis.

Results on DNA matches will then be produced in less than two hours – and the device can even process seven samples simultaneously.