Since the emergence of forensic DNA profiling and the corollary creation of DNA databases, efforts to maximise the efficiency and utility of DNA technology have intensified. Such efforts are expedient given the imperative that expenditure on DNA should be cost-effective and the benefits demonstrable. The practice of retaining DNA profiles in databases, either obtained from individuals involved in criminal investigations, or retrieved from suspected crime scenes, has spread globally. The UK's National DNA Database (NDNAD), created in 1995, is both one of the longest established, and biggest of such forensic DNA databases internationally. As such, it is instructive to look at whether there is evidence to demonstrate the effectiveness of this DNA database. This paper thus examines efforts to gauge the effectiveness of forensic DNA databases, concluding that while the UK NDNAD may have led directly to convictions in high profile crimes, its broader impact upon public security goals remains elusive.