02 Jul 2019 18:30pm
SWAKOPMUND, 02 JUL (NAMPA) - Due to the transient and fragile nature of crime investigation, the reliability and preservation of its physical integrity depends largely on the initial actions at the crime scene.
This was according to Namibian Police Force (NamPol) Inspector-General, Lieutenant General Sebastian Ndeitunga in a speech delivered on his behalf during the official opening of the fourth Interpol Chemical Awareness and Crime Scene Management (CHASM) training course for Nigeria which commenced here on Tuesday.
The five-day training is hosted by Namibias National Central Bureau.
According to Ndeitunga, evidence integrity can be achieved with limited means by observing a key set of guiding principles.
Acting with maximum care and professionalism throughout the crime scene, the investigation process becomes more critical for the admissibility of evidence in court as well as for human rights inquiries and humanitarian action, Ndeitunga noted.
The aim of the programme, which involves the training of close to 20 Nigerian police officers on CHASM, is to enhance the capacity of crime scene examiners when dealing with chemicals and explosives contaminated scenes.
The course will also highlight appropriate safety procedures and risk assessment process which allows samples to be collected safely, whilst working within a highly dangerous crime scene environment.
The inspector-general said incidents of serious crimes involving chemicals are common and criminal activities have also become more sophisticated with new trends emerging almost on a daily basis.
The Coordinator for Interpols Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear and Explosives Sub-Directorate, Alan Grimmer, said Nigeria is third worldwide and number one in Africa as the country suffering the worst at the hands of terrorists on the Global Terrorism Index.
Boko Haram, one of the biggest terrorist groups in Nigeria, was established in 2009.
This is not the only terrorist group, we know that ISIS is also making ground in trying to infiltrate West Africa and of course Al Qaeda is still very much embedded in West Africa and the Fulani militants are also still carrying out attacks, Grimmer explained.
He said these attacks make it increasingly difficult for governments to control terrorism where there are several terrorist groups operating, hence the establishment of CHASM.
CHASM is designed to assist you on the frontline to be trained and to be confident in dealing with complicated chemical crime scenes. We know in law enforcement that forensic evidence recovered at the crime scene is vital in prosecuting the individuals involved, he said.