Parliamentary Question: Police: Forensics

654

QUESTION NO 765

DATE OF PUBLICATION IN INTERNAL QUESTION PAPER: 12 MARCH 2010

(INTERNAL QUESTION PAPER NO 7- 2010)

Date reply submitted : 4 May 2010

765. Mr VB Ndlovu (IFP) to ask the Minister of Police:

(1) What is the current turnaround time on analysis of evidence specimens by state laboratories;

(2) whether there are any specimens older than three months that are still awaiting analysis; if so, (a) how many and (b) what are the reasons for the delays;

(3) whether he intends taking any steps with regard to the outstanding specimens; if so, what steps?

NW897E

REPLY:

(1) *Please Note: The average turnaround time (days) for 2009/2010 are measured from 1 April 2009 till 28 February 2010.

Section

2009/2010*

Ballistics HQ

28

Biology HQ

126

Chemistry HQ

42

Explosives HQ, Gauteng, Limpopo, North West, Mpumalanga & Free State

0

Questioned Documents HQ

38

Scientific Analysis HQ

28

Ballistics EC

29

Biology EC

24

Chemistry EC

31

Explosives EC

0

Ballistics WC

114

Biology WC

98

Chemistry WC

84

Explosives Western Cape & Northern Cape

0

Questioned Documents WC

9

Scientific Analysis WC*

29

Ballistics KZN

78

Chemistry KZN

14

Explosives KZN

0

(2)(a) There are 17 809 entries awaiting analysis.

(2)(b) The reasons are as follows:

* Criminal samples awaiting analysis in the queue.

* Increase in the number of samples received.

* Samples awaiting instruction from the state prosecutor before analysis is done as per agreement with the state prosecutors.

* Samples not needed for court but to build up the database.

* Recruited members still undergoing training.

(3) The following interventions have been done or are in process:

* Appointment of extra personnel (Forensic Analyst and Support personnel).

* Training of new members.

* Expansion of equipment and instrumentation.

* Case sharing between laboratories to assist with the analysis of samples

  • Prioritization of cases with court dates.

  • * Establishment of Nodal points for improving of communication.

* Process instituted to address accommodation shortages.

In addition to these intervention I have instructed the Civilian Police Secretariat to conduct a full review of all backlogs in the Forensic Laboratories and report back to my office on steps to be taken to address this issue. The Secretariat has liaised with international experts to assist in this process

Reply to question 765 approved by Minister