18.12.2011 General News

Refurbished Forensic Lab Handed Over To Police

By Mary Mensah - Daily Graphic
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A refurbished forensic science laboratory for the Ghana Police Service was yesterday inaugurated by the Vice-President, Mr John Dramani Mahama, at a ceremony in Accra.

The refurbishment, which was done at a cost of three million euros, was funded by the European Union (EU) and it is expected to bring about the provision of the highest quality scientific analysis to enhance the criminal justice system in the country.

The laboratory has been equipped with equipment for DNA testing and analysis, chemical analysis, photography, ballistic and document analysis, facial composition software, among others.

It is expected to serve both private and public institutions, as well as individuals.

Inaugurating the laboratory, the Vice-President said scientific investigations had become paramount in virtually all cases that needed some judicial determination, indicating that the analysis of a little piece of hair, a drop of saliva or blood could help resolve difficult cases in the court of law.

He said formidable forensic support was a sine qua non in contemporary law enforcement and criminal investigations and, therefore, the refurbished facility was an important resource for the Police Service, other law enforcement agencies, as well as private individuals and corporate bodies who might need the services of the laboratory.

Mr Dramani said there was a massive recruitment exercise underway to improve the human resource base of the Police Service to reduce the officer-citizen ratio to a level comparable to contemporary democratic policing standards all over the world.

He expressed the hope that the drive would assist the police to deal more effectively with the crime situation in the country, adding that some of our foreign partners had assisted in diverse ways in the provision of equipment, training and logistics for the efficient administration of the Police Service.

He said the partnership between the EU and Ghana, dating back to the First Lome Convention in 1975, had been a fruitful one.

The Head of the EU Delegation to Ghana, Ambassador Claude Maerten, said the laboratory was a timely addition to Ghana’s crime fighting machinery, adding that with the refurbishment, the capacity of the Criminal Investigations Department (CID) had been considerably strengthened.

He said specific training on the procured equipment had also been provided for the police to use the facilities well.

Ambassador Maerten said the forensic sciences were an integral part of the criminal justice system of a country, noting that society had become increasingly dependent on forensic science in the detection, prevention and prosecution of crime.

Earlier, in his welcoming address, the Inspector-General of Police (IGP), Mr Paul Tawiah Quaye, had said the police intended to use the facility to serve Ghana, as well as neighbouring countries, to enhance criminal investigation in the sub-region.