Gov’t Procuring Equipment for DNA Register

Photo: JIS Photographer Minister of National Security, Hon. Robert Montague. (FILE)

Story Highlights

  • The Government is procuring equipment for the establishment of the National Deoxyribonucleic Acid (DNA) Register.
  • Minister of National Security, Hon. Robert Montague, said today (March 14) that the equipment is expected to arrive in the island in approximately six weeks.
  • The National DNA Register will be pivotal in forensic investigations by the police.

The Government is procuring equipment for the establishment of the National Deoxyribonucleic Acid (DNA) Register.

Minister of National Security, Hon. Robert Montague, said yesterday (March 14) that the equipment is expected to arrive in the island in approximately six weeks.

“(We are) about to sign off on a purchase order for some US$146,000 for the equipment and do training so that we can establish our DNA Register,” he indicated.

He informed that by the time the pieces of equipment arrive in the island, the Parliament should have passed the accompanying regulations for the DNA Evidence Act “so that we can begin populating the DNA Register”.

The National DNA Register will be pivotal in forensic investigations by the police.

The DNA Evidence Act, which was passed by both Houses of Parliament in 2015, is critical in the Government’s fight against crime.

It stipulates the compulsory extraction of DNA samples from suspects and convicted persons; outlines the protocol for collecting, retaining and preserving these, as well as the retention or destruction of DNA profiles; and outlines penalties for breaches of the Act.

These breaches include falsifying profiles; swapping DNA samples or profiles with intent to deceive; and tampering with containers or packages bearing profile samples.

Minister Montague was speaking at the handing over of a BULLETTRAX-3D system to the Institute of Forensic Science and Legal Medicine at the institute’s facility on Hope Boulevard, St. Andrew.

The system captures high-resolution images of a bullet’s lands and grooves. It produces an image strip representing a bullet’s 360-degree circumference, or a combination of regions from a bullet’s fragments.

The addition of the BULLETTRAX-3D will complement the Integrated Ballistic Identification System (IBIS) and enhance the Institute’s capabilities.

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