Training for investigators
From the Courts
September 18, 2009
Training for investigators

Attorney General Judith Jones-Morgan believes more has to be done to develop the skills, knowledge, and techniques of police investigators in the gathering of forensic evidence.{{more}}

Speaking at a special sitting of the High Court on Tuesday, September 15, to signal the opening of the 2009-2010 law term, Jones-Morgan said these steps had to be taken as the country prepared for Forensic Science Laboratory to become fully operational by the first quarter of 2010.

“We recognise that even though the lab is important, further training will be sought for the police officers to help in the fight against crime,” she said.

Experts from the United States also carried out a training exercise for members of the local constabulary recently.

Additionally, the Evidence Amendment Act 2009 and Drugs Prevention and Misuse Amendment Act 2009 have been put in place to facilitate the operation of the state-of-the-art, $1.5 million testing facility, which was commissioned on April 17, 2009.

“This is to ensure that tests conducted by local scientists can be tendered and admitted by the various courts in St Vincent and the Grenadines.

The Attorney general also noted that in the past there had been numerous delays in concluding certain cases because exhibits were not tested or were still in Barbados awaiting testing. This, she added, caused an administrative backlog in the judicial system, resulting in repeated adjournments of those matters.

However, Jones-Morgan said that no such complaint could legitimately be made when the lab becomes fully functional.

“Although we may not have heard commentators and advocates applauding and welcoming the commission of the laboratory, the very fact of its establishment represents a substantial improvement on what it was before,” Jones-Morgan added.