The Trinidad and Tobago Police Service (TTPS) is in the process of acquiring its own Forensic Science Department (FSD).
This was revealed via a release from the TTPS yesterday afternoon.
In the release, Commissioner of Police Gary Griffith noted that an FSD was important to the organisation so that it could treat with the matters of crime scene investigation.
This would include forensic testing for live rounds, and DNA testing, the release stated.
“The Commissioner of Police believes this will take some of the burden off the Forensic Science Centre in St James. However, he says, matters relating to police shootings will be dealt with by the FSC and not the TTPS,” the release added.
The release was in response to a statement issued by Fixin’ T&T calling for priority to be placed on ballistic testing.
Griffith agreed that there is an undue delay in the process for results from the Forensic Science Centre.
He noted that in some countries the results take six days, whereas in Trinidad and Tobago the results could potentially take up to six years.
“Commissioner Griffith says this is no fault of the FSC, as it is simply overwhelmed. The CoP confirms that he has contacted the FSC and has asked for these matters to be prioritised and was given an assurance that they would be,” the release read.
Earlier in the day, Fixin’ T&T issued a release signed by Kirk Waithe, in which it called on the commissioner to answer why there were so many delays in attaining ballistic testing.
“Fixin’ T&T has called on you to exercise the latitude available to request of the head of our Forensic Science Centre (FSC), Mr Derek Sankar, that certain cases be given priority for ballistic and any other requisite testing. Namely: The Big Yard, Carenage, episode where a teenage girl was among those killed; The “Laventille Five”; The Santa Cruz incident where a young man and woman were shot in a vehicle resulting in death,” the release noted.
It went on to further ask if the commissioner had made any such requests in relation to the matters, and if yes, what was the response, if any.
“The apparent deficiencies regarding ballistic and possibly other testing to be done by the FSC have been blamed for delays in matters under investigation by the Police Complaints Authority as well.
“Fixin’ T&T maintains that this untenable situation constitutes a miscarriage of justice. Out of respect for the deceased and in fairness to their families, the police officers involved and the national community, this must be treated with the utmost urgency,” the release stated.