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Scientific crime solving

The ad hoc and lackadaisical approach     to crime scenes in the region could soon be a thing of the past.

Director of training with the Regional Security System Yvonne Alexander gave this assurance today while addressing the closing ceremony of the Crime Scene First Responders Course at the RSS headquarters at Paragon, Christ Church.

Stressing the need for more scientific means of investigation at this juncture of the region’s history, Alexander said: “There is also our over-reliance on eye witness testimony which is quickly becoming a thing of the past. Our social construct has changed to the point where witnesses to serious crimes are either unwilling or fearful of coming forward to testify.

“We must now of necessity rely on forensic and other scientific means in our criminal investigative processes and as such your role as crime scene first responders becomes extremely important in ensuring a successful outcome,” Alexander added.

Meanwhile, executive director of the Regional Security System, Grantley Watson, argued that given the current state of affairs with respect to crime scene management and techniques for preservation of evidence, the training programme is               extremely important.

Watson credited former Police Chief of the Berkley Police Department of the early 1900s, August Vollmer, with introducing scientific methods in the investigation of criminal offences.

Watson, a former Commissioner of Police of Barbados, pointed out that during Vollmer’s tenure as police chief of the Berkley Police Department he had argued that the men and women who pursued a career in policing should be the finest men and women and should be educated.

The former top cop further recalled that during Vollmer’s tenure much attention was paid to the use of scientific principles in police duty.

Watson noted that the Henry System of finger printing classification, now generally replaced by the ridge flow classification was introduced by Vollmer in the United States.

He further stated that under Vollmer’s leadership, blood, fibre and soil analysis were used in solving the landmark Kleinschmidt murder case- the first ever such effort in US policing history.

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