Much Needed Foren­sic Lab­o­ra­tory May Be Re-opened

The Star (St. Lucia) - - LOCAL - By Clau­dia Elei­box

The Saint Lu­cia Foren­sic Lab­o­ra­tory was opened in De­cem­ber 2009 and for the length of its ques­tion­able func­tion­al­ity there have been back-and-forth al­le­ga­tions be­tween lab spe­cial­ists, the Of­fice of the Direc­tor of Pub­lic Prose­cu­tions and the Royal Saint Lu­cian Po­lice Force con­cern­ing its con­tri­bu­tion to solv­ing crime. On May 6, 2015 the lab­o­ra­tory was closed due to is­sues re­lat­ing to the se­cu­rity of ev­i­dence and rel­e­vant stan­dards for run­ning such a unit. Since then the gov­ern­ment has been ex­plor­ing all op­tions avail­able for solv­ing crimes, par­tic­u­larly mur­der and rape, aside from hav­ing our own DNA test­ing and foren­sic science lab­o­ra­tory. The cost for vi­able op­tions has proved very ex­pen­sive.

On Fe­bru­ary 24, 2017 the Hon­ourable Her­mangild Francis, Min­is­ter for Home Af­fairs, Jus­tice and Na­tional Se­cu­rity, Dr. Cadelia Am­brose, P.S. in the Depart­ment of Jus­tice, Daas­rean Greene, Act­ing Direc­tor of Pub­lic Pros­e­cu­tion, Milton De­sir, Act­ing Com­mis­sioner of the RSLPF and Fer­nanda Henry, Direc­tor of Foren­sic Science Ser­vices met with the me­dia to an­nounce the pos­si­ble re­open­ing of the Foren­sic Science Lab­o­ra­tory.

The Saint Lu­cian gov­ern­ment be­lieves that the Foren­sic Science Lab is cru­cial for ef­fec­tive lo­cal in­ves­ti­ga­tions. In its ini­tial ex­is­tence the lab­o­ra­tory was also meant to serve other OECS coun­tries pro­vid­ing an ad­di­tional source of in­come for Saint Lu­cia.

The Foren­sic Science Lab­o­ra­tory will be un­der­go­ing a phased re-open­ing to en­sure that all is­sues are ad­dressed go­ing for­ward.

Soon af­ter its clos­ing in 2015 it was noted that the build­ing suf­fered some dam­age that needed re­pair. Fer­nanda Henry stated that the struc­ture is now fit to be oc­cu­pied.

Nec­es­sary screen­ing and vet­ting are in order for qual­i­fied staff, which had been pre­vi­ously prob­lem­atic. And fi­nally, the com­pli­ca­tion of in­ef­fec­tive se­cu­rity sys­tems will be duly ad­dressed.

At this week’s press con­fer­ence gov­ern­ment rep­re­sen­ta­tives em­pha­sized that the pos­si­bil­ity of a pub­lic-pri­vate part­ner­ship of the lab­o­ra­tory has not been aban­doned and is still be­ing con­sid­ered.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Saint Lucia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.