Bahrain forensic lab to relocate
Manama, February 16, 2010
Plans for a major expansion of the Public Prosecution's forensic division are well underway with around BD1.6 million already spent on equipment, it has been revealed.
The General Directorate of Forensic Science Evidence, which is temporarily based in a residential building in Mahooz, will move to a dedicated centre in Hamad Town within the next two years.
The news comes as government figures released yesterday revealed that the Public Prosecution referred 1,764 cases to its forensics team last year compared to 1,137 in 2008.
The centre will further improve the handling of cases presented to the department, said General Public Prosecutor Dr Ali bin Fadhel Al Buainain.
He was speaking during a Press tour of the department's current facilities.
'We are all working towards one goal at the Public Prosecution, which is justice for all,' he said.
'In this field there are always urgent matters that need speedy analysis and to take certain lines of action, we need quicker results.
'We believe that our current lab will achieve this, and we look forward to expanding this division in the near future as technology improves and demand increases.'
Dr Al Buainain said that since the forensic lab's launch in 2007, BD1.6 million worth of equipment has been purchased and utilised in Bahrain's fight against crime.
These include state-of-the-art ultra-violet detectors, which can identify semen and other substances invisible to the naked eye, a gypsum used to collect footprints and tyre imprints as well as a technology that can be used to spot counterfeit documentation and currency.
More than 35 scientists are employed at the lab in fields ranging from narcotics and poison identification to sexual abuse cases.
The majority of them are Bahrainis, who have been trained by the government in forensics at universities across the world.
The General Directorate of Forensic Science Evidence's director-general Dr Mohammed Abdul Rasool Al Khayyat told our sister newspaper Gulf Daily News (GDN) that it was vital that all the division's staff were highly trained to ensure accuracy and fairness.
'We are focussed not only on excellence, but on nurturing Bahraini talent as well,' he said.
'We have taken university graduates and have trained them both in Bahrain and abroad and we now have a very dedicated portion of Bahraini staff working in our labs.'
Dr Al Khayyat dismissed possible fears that placing a forensics lab in a residential area could pose a potential health risk to its neighbours.
He said that there was nothing dangerous about the techniques used in the division.
However, he said that the current set-up, based within converted residential apartments, had limited the number of cases that the department was able to deal with.
'There is no chance of this building exploding or anything like that, everything we do here is very closely controlled with materials that are very simple and safe,' said Dr Al Khayat.
'This was always seen as a temporary location and when we move to Hamad Town, we will be able to handle an incredibly large amount of cases.'-TradeArabia News Service