CASTRIES, Saint Lucia – Wednesday, January 20, 2016 – On Monday 18th January 2016 Crime Chief Milton Desir received a donation of a crime scene forensic kit from Dr. Maurice Aboud of Caribbean Forensic Services of Trinidad & Tobago. The police indicated that this vital tool would enhance their crime scene capability.
Whilst the kit will serve crime scene officers in their work, we must recognize and not lose sight of the bigger picture. The kit will be vital but only a small part of what will be required for proper police investigations. They will need the benefit of the forensic lab to examine the exhibits they would have collected.
No one can deny that crime affects all of us and the police must be well equipped if they are to do their job properly. Since the lab is very important, every day of its closure will affect police investigations and bring additional expense to the treasury and by extension taxpayers.
As a result we must all be concerned to know the following:
• The status and cost to the country of the audit supposed to have been conducted into the lab.
• The state of the criminal investigation launched into the running of the lab.
• The costs to the taxpayers of maintaining the facility even whilst it is closed and non-functional.
• The cost to the taxpayers where salaries are still being paid to staff during the period of closure.
• The state of all the expensive equipment at the lab as to its safe protection and maintenance whilst not in use.
While we agree that in the interest of justice exhibits may have to be sent overseas, will we know the total costs to taxpayers for such and how long it will take for results to be obtained?
In what form and in what time frame will the lab reopen and what will be the future of the staff if a private enterprise takes over operations?
These are pertinent questions that need answering and we are calling on the national security minister Victor LaCorbiniere to share some light on the current status of the forensic lab.