Minister defends operations at forensic lab, but admits issues need to be addressed

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Minister defends operations at forensic lab, but admits issues need to be addressed
The Forensic Science Laboratory was officially opened on December 21, 2009.
The Forensic Science Laboratory was officially opened on December 21, 2009.

National Security Minister Victor La Corbiniere has responded to criticisms regarding delays in solving crimes due to an inefficient forensic lab, stating that he is satisfied with its operations.

Speaking to media on Tuesday, May 20, La Corbiniere said that the forensic lab “is by and large working well.”

He noted that there has been extensive training of its staff in recent times and that a document is currently being prepared to give “a greater sense to the public as to what the forensic lab is doing.”

“The forensic lab is not perfect. There are issues to be addressed. I am not going to say to you that we have an absolutely perfect and most efficient in the world forensic lab. It is a work in progress,” he said.

The facility has six units – a Chemistry Unit, Toxicology Unit, Biology Unit, Trace Evidence Unit, DNA Testing Unit and Crime Scene Support & Training.

The minister noted that there are some aspects of forensics which are not yet being done at the lab due to lack of machinery, equipment and training. Ballistics is one of these areas which according to La Corbiniere, is difficult to manage.

“We took a decision, many years ago that a forensic lab would not have an easy capacity to do ballistics and so that has always been a shady area and a difficult area for us to manage,” he said.

He dispelled suggestions that the lab does not have the capacity to do Deoxyribonucleic acid or (DNA) testing.

“That is absolutely untrue. The capacity is there. What we are looking at however, is more efficient ways of doing it because my understanding is that for some of these practices there are developments that are taking place all the time. And so you have to be of a bit of a cutting edge. What is good today, in five years’ time is absolutely obsolete in terms of [the] scientific approach to doing things,” he said.

“Part of the difficulties sometimes is for a government with limited resources to keep up to date with these issues. So sometimes you do something and in five years’ time it’s sort of passé because the world has moved on and it’s a bit of a chase and a stretch for government…” he added.

La Corbiniere also pointed to efforts which are being made to get the police more in sync with the lab and its operations when carrying out their duties.

“There are also some issues with the police and the forensic lab because the forensic lab can only operate in conjunction with the police and with how the police conduct their own affairs. Up to recently we have been having joint meetings between the forensic lab and the police to try to ensure that the police themselves are able to fine-tune some of their protocols, some of their mechanisms for doing business. So that there can be better and more professional synergies between the forensic lab and the police,” the minister said.

Just recently, the women’s arm of the United Workers’ Party, Women In Action (WIA) called for the immediate resignation of the minister of national security citing various reasons – one of which was was the forensic lab being “comatose without proper technical staff and the minister is now callously asking aggrieved citizens to seek recourse through the civil courts in cases where citizens died whilst in custody of the state.”

“Minister La Corbinere is oblivious to the many victims of rape and families of victims of murder, who crave emotional relief and closure by ensuring that all investigative services, especially forensic, are functioning properly and efficiently,” the WIA group had said.

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6 COMMENTS

  1. The minister is saying a lot of words with little meaning. Does not seem he understands the topic. A lot of excuses and what i am getting is that the lab is not functioning well.
    La corbs say the lab doing DNA but they looking at better ways to do it. Wow, is that lab then doing research work. So whilst they looking then no work going on.
    So you build a lab and now you realize that if govt dont have money the lab cyar work. Then you have no business dealing in forensic work

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  2. "How the police conduct their own affairs." What does the Minister mean by that? Doesn't the Minister have responsiblity for both the lab and the police pluse the law & Justice? It is a question of the Minister managing these arms effctively. This proves either La Corbs ure a very bad manager or you are just taking the public for a ride. But i suspect that you are both and the only solution is for you to resign. You have a number of reports that are oustanding ecluding the one on Chakadan, a number of unidentified bodies, a number of outstanding inquests among other things. Is that what you would come to tell the public. I see this as more insult to intellegence in fact it is a waste of our resources to have you appear on TV farless recieving a salary for your incapacity. Power to the People. We cannot afford to waste money on you La Corbs

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  3. P.S. minister of just-us you are real idiot , you have to be the worst minister ever , you even make Richard Frederick look good, damn.

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  4. Wait someone gave this (man) a sleeping pill, glad to have you back minister of just-us. Thank you for responding... We tolerate we too much bull... from ministers government on either side (uwp/slp). If had the gonads to carry out proper investigations against the police and alleged human rights violations this lab would have recieved the assistance by now. Why does seem like hierarchy of the force and Gov't are hiding behind this cloak on the subject of investigating police . An just to note we want be on the good side of human rights groups and the U.S Gov't why have laws oppressing LGBT community as measure of good faith minster of just-us why not relax or remove those laws to show that the country is trying to change its image when it comes to human rights violations. The little workshops here and there not going to do it. The ...opposition wake up this something at least you'll can oversee as the Gov't tackles it's balancing of the economy. Because we all know we don't have money for the national security ministry and we know they really need it . Please someone listen.

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  5. maybe if the govt invest in ppl education and send dem and look for dey degrees in forensic science itl work laccobinere u need firin .... i swear d country need dissolving kenny only begging other countries for help givin we a bad name

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