Gov’t building capacity for forensic investigations

The government is placing significant investments into building its forensic capabilities to enhance the administration of justice.

As part of this effort, some 30 officers of the Guyana Police Force, and five officers from the Ministry of Human Services and Social Securitywill soon travel to India on fully paid scholarships to receive training in forensic interviews.

Attorney General and Minister of Legal Affairs, Anil Nandlall, SC

This was announced by Attorney General and Minister of Legal Affairs, Mohabir Anil Nandlall, SC, at the opening ceremony for the two-day restorative justice training, at the Guyana Police Force Officers’ Mess Hall, Eve Leary, Georgetown, on Monday.

“We are investing in these programmes and policies right across the divide. You can attest to the dozens of police and prison officers and social workers who are being sent on training across the globe so they can return here and impart this knowledge to others in the discharge of their functions. We have recognised that we have to change our approach to investigation if we are to be successful,” the Attorney General stated.

He highlighted that with the advent of more innovative and intricate advancements in technology, criminals are exploring creative ways to commit infractions, and as such, the state apparatus must be versed in new areas to curb these acts.

“We are concentrating more on forensic policing, using scientific methods and technological approaches, as well as human resources training to combat crime, because with the technological changes that are taking place across the globe, crime has not remained stagnant and static.

The criminal has wised up, and the criminal takes advantage of the technological changes and the sophisticated apparatus that we have now and they use them to commit crime. In the face of that, we can’t have the same type of approach to policing which we may have had 30 and 40 years ago,” he explained.

The Guyana Online Academy of Learning (GOAL) also features a range of programmes in the areas of forensic investigation that dozens of police and probation officers have pursued, according to the AG.

On Saturday last, approximately 30 officers of the Guyana Police Force graduated from the American University of Peace Studies, completing programmes in Forensic, General, and Clinical Psychology.

These investments in the forensic investigation arena are aimed at building a highly skilled and qualified law enforcement arm, equipped with the necessary tools to combat crime at all levels.

The government has recruited four highly-qualified forensic experts for the next three years, to boost operations at Guyana Forensic Science Laboratory (GFSL).  The experts have a variety of skills in areas including ballistics, handwriting and fingerprint analysis, and crime scene forensics, among other areas.

Another feature of this dedication to boosting the forensic capacity is the government’s engagement with the University of Guyana to integrate these experts’ knowledge into crafting a training programme in the field.