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Criminals in South Africa are getting away with murder. Literally. Enter DNA profiling: the 21st Century Detective. The DNA Project, a Non-profit organisation is raising awareness of the need to expand and develop our National DNA Database, as a major crime fighting tool to ensure accountability and deterrence amongst its criminal population.

Extracted from the Daily Maverick article on the DNA Project by Rebecca Davis

Last July, the DNA Project set up a large sandbox in the centre of Cape Town’s busy Metrorail station. In the box, tiny stones of differing colours were laid out to form the distinct image of a mug shot of a convict holding up an ID board. Then commuters were allowed to walk all over the box. It didn’t take long for the passing foot traffic to almost entirely obliterate all traces of the image of the convict’s face. The commuters were filmed walking over the box, and a video was made of the event.

“Every year in South Africa more and more criminals escape conviction due to people disturbing crime scene evidence,” the video begins. “The DNA Project set out to educate the public never to interfere with a crime scene.” The image in the sandbox, originally pristine, is quickly wiped out by time-lapse images of people walking over it.

“It didn’t take long before the criminal’s identity had disappeared,” the video continues. “The message was clear. Never disturb a crime scene.”