JIS News

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  • The Forensic Laboratory and the Legal Medicine Unit will become the Institute of Forensic Science, with direct reporting to the Ministry of National Security.
  • Minister Bunting said it is part of measures to reduce crime and violence and corruption, through investigative capacity building for the country’s law enforcement agents.
  • Mr. Bunting was addressing the handing over of ballistics comparison microscopes and DNA kits by the United States (US) Embassy to the Forensic Laboratory, in Kingston, on September 11.

As the Government continues to modernize its forensic capability, come fiscal year 2015/2016, the Forensic Laboratory and the Legal Medicine Unit will become the Institute of Forensic Science, with direct reporting to the Ministry of National Security.

Making the announcement, Minister of National Security, Hon. Peter Bunting, said it is part of measures to reduce crime and violence and corruption, through investigative capacity building for the country’s law enforcement agents.

“It is not just important for it to be an independent investigative Institute, but also that it be preserved as that, and the influence of the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) will not be any greater than any of its other stakeholders,” the Minister argued.

Mr. Bunting was addressing the handing over of ballistics comparison microscopes and DNA kits by the United States (US) Embassy to the Forensic Laboratory, in Kingston, on September 11.

The Minister said the JCF personnel who are currently assigned to the laboratory will, over time, have the opportunity to take up secondments with the Institute, with other options of becoming “fulltime staff or they will be able to return to the JCF.”

Mr. Bunting informed the audience that the improved facility “will be able to offer forensic science services, on an expanded basis, to other Governments in the region, and to the private sector.”

He lauded the United States for the equipment, noting that it will be filling a gap that was identified in a report done by the Office of the Public Defender on the Tivoli Gardens operations in May, 2010.

Meanwhile, Chargé d’Affaires at the US Embassy, Elizabeth Martinez, said the equipment will aid greatly in crime fighting, when used in the giving of evidence.

She emphasized that her country can count on Jamaica and the recent search and rescue operations for the crashed plane with two US nationals aboard, was a classic example.

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