BASSETERRE, St. Kitts, April 30, 2018 (Press Unit in the Office of the Prime Minister) – The commissioning of the new state-of-the-art forensic laboratory, constructed on the compound of the Tabernacle Police Station, represents another major promise that has been delivered by the Team Unity-led Government of St. Kitts and Nevis.
An impressive ceremony was held on Friday, April 27, to mark the landmark opening of the new forensics department. That ceremony was attended by scores of individuals, including the Governor General, His Excellency Sir S. W. Tapley Seaton, ministers of the Federal Cabinet and other high-level government officials, the High Command of the Royal St. Christopher and Nevis Police Force, as well as the top brass of the other law enforcement agencies, and residents of Tabernacle and its surrounding communities.
Also on hand to witness the opening of the new facility were six officials from the neighbouring island of Antigua and Barbuda.
Prime Minister and Minister of National Security, Dr. the Honourable Timothy Harris, stated that the opening of the forensic lab represents significant progress in his Government’s mission to upgrade the forensic capabilities of the Police Force and bring it in line with international best practices.
“The peace, order, safety and security and good governance are responsibilities which our Cabinet takes very seriously,” Prime Minister Harris said, while noting that through the opening of the new forensic laboratory his government has enhanced the security force’s capacity to consolidate the peace, safety and security of the entire country.
The National Security Minister further stressed that the offerings and capabilities of the forensic laboratory will help expedite the analysis of samples and also speed up the investigative process. It is also expected to further strengthen legal cases, the rate of conviction, as well as deter crime, in light of its ability to identify perpetrators with a high degree of confidence in the validity of its findings.
The prime minister added, “The quality of the equipment, and therefore the quality of the services that we are being provided here [tells me] that we have the best facility, equipment wise, anywhere in the Caribbean…and there are only six other countries that have the kind of facility that we now boast of.”
Leading up to the opening of the new laboratory, members of the Forensic Department in the Royal St. Christopher and Nevis Police Force completed a three-week forensic awareness training course, which focused on analyzing gunshot residue, as well as DNA and sexual assault evidence. That training was conducted by experts from Cellmark Forensic Services.
“We are expecting quite a lot from you,” Dr. Harris told the staff of the Forensic Department. “We are expecting quicker results and we are expecting a much more comprehensive response to the issues of criminal activity in the country.”
With the opening of the brand new lab, all forensic exhibits for analysis will now be processed by the Forensic Department of the Police Force. In the past, these exhibits were typically sent to crime labs overseas for analysis.