Queensland Police Service (QPS) leads the country in the way it deals with forensic evidence according to the results of an independent review conducted by the National Institute of Forensic Science (NIFS).
The review monitored the frequency and speed that offenders were identified from their fingerprints or DNA being left behind at the scene of the crime.
Forensic Services Branch Acting Superintendent David Neville is pleased that the efficiency of QPS forensic procedures is proving to be effective.
“The speed of offender identification has a major impact on crime reduction. A large amount of crime is committed by repeat offenders. It is important that the reoffending cycle is quickly broken by placing the culprits before the courts. The efficient and effective way the QPS deals with forensic evidence is achieving this outcome.”
QPS forensic officers were the first in Australia to use mobile data capabilities to routinely send images of fingerprints from the scene to the laboratory ready for immediate searching. In many instances the forensic officer now has the results of the fingerprint match before they end their crime scene examination. This capability was only made possible through the in-house development of a case management program called the Forensic Register.
“The Forensic Register manages all forensic case information and records including tracking evidence movements. It prioritises and directs workflow from the crime scene so that the evidence is under the eye of the examiner in the shortest possible time frame. It also enables the electronic return of results to investigators including the identity of the suspect”.
In partnership with Queensland Health Forensic Scientific Services (QHFSS), the QPS pioneered field DNA sampling methods to prevent the need for whole items to be submitted to the forensic biology laboratory. The QPS developed field use kits which produce in-tube subsamples ready for introduction to a robotic analytical platform. These methods enable real time DNA analysis to be undertaken.
“The field sampling processes greatly reduce laboratory manual handling as a result of the sample being in a form that can be loaded directly onto laboratory robots. This has not only eliminated DNA analytical backlogs in Queensland, but it circumvents opportunity for laboratory cross contamination.”
The QPS and QHFSS were awarded a Prime Minster’s Award for Excellence in Public Administration as a result of their successful collaboration to achieve this result.
The innovation of the QPS has not gone unnoticed by other police jurisdictions. The field DNA sampling method and resources developed by QPS have since been introduced interstate. Four other police agencies have adopted the Forensic Register as their forensic case management system. The spread of this innovation is now improving the effectiveness of forensic science across Australia.
Anyone with information which could assist police with their investigations should contact Crime Stoppers anonymously via 1800 333 000 or crimestoppers.com.au 24hrs a day.
Crime Stoppers is a charitable community volunteer organisation working in partnership with the Queensland Police Service.