BASSETERRE, St. Kitts, November 26, 2021 (Press Unit in the Office of the Prime Minister) – The capabilities of the Royal St. Christopher and Nevis Police Force Forensic Lab are expected to significantly increase in 2022, as technicians there are set to undergo a series of training in a number of areas critical to crime solving.
This was confirmed by the Director of Forensics with the Police Force, Ms. Latoya Lake-Marshall, on November 25 during a tour of the facility in Tabernacle by Prime Minister and Minister of National Security, Dr. the Honourable Timothy Harris.
“For 2022, these technicians here, they are going to be going through some extensive training. I know they are not going to like Ms. Marshall because I’m going to be very strict; we’re going to go into a lot of jurisdictions. They are going to be doing anthropology which is the testing of bones, so if we find any bones anywhere we are going to train our people in St. Kitts to test to say what they are,” Director Marshall said.
She further noted that they will also be collaborating with specialists from Monroe College who will train the lab technicians in the use of underwater drones.
“That means if we have any drowning victims, we are going to have specialists here who can direct these drones,” Ms. Marshall added.
At present, DNA samples are sent abroad for testing. However, Director Marshall said her intention is to organize training for her technicians in DNA testing in the near future.
Prime Minister Harris expressed his satisfaction in the advancements being made at the forensic lab, and noted that the upcoming training sessions will only enhance the forensic capabilities of the Police Force.
Dr. Harris said, “It is very interesting what is happening right here in one of our local communities, as opposed to Basseterre. This has been a critical service which we were advised should assist us in better crime outcomes—that is the police in their investigations, being able to bring closure to a number of cases through the application of technology and science.”
The prime minister continued, “Clearly in this field, in order to stay ahead of the game, we have to become more knowledgeable about changes and developments in our field. In the world of internet everything is before us, so we have to engage in the exercise of self-learning, educating ourselves [and] asking the right questions so that we become wiser at doing the job.”
The Forensic Lab was officially commissioned on April 27, 2018 and was seen then as a critical instrument to expedite the analysis of samples and also speed up the investigative processes in St. Kitts and Nevis. Director Marshall said the lab has since resulted in a significant improvement in the police force’s crime solvability rate.