Failing forensics labs tackled

2011-11-17 20:15
Durban - Government is trying to sort out problems in the forensic labs, Police Minister Nathi Mthethwa said.

Beefing up ailing government forensic labs was a key priority, he said in a public lecture at the University of KwaZulu-Natal’s Westville Campus on Thursday night.

Problems in forensic labs had a negative impact on detective services, he said.

"We are well aware that we cannot strengthen our detective services without equally addressing our forensic capacity," he said.

There have been a number of media reports about the bad state of government forensic labs.

Mthethwa said sorting out problems was not just about buying new equipment or employing new staff.

"Such an approach would imply reinventing a broken wheel. Instead, we developed a clear plan with clear monitoring evaluation processes," he said.

Government was getting help from local and international experts to craft a plan to rescue forensic labs, he said.

To win the fight against crime, government needed to address service delivery within the police, he said.

"Lazy cops will have no place or space in the SA Police Service. There is a need for greater command and control within the police."

Mthethwa said they were also improving communication in the police force.

"Police must ensure that once they arrest criminals, [they] communicate to society that such scoundrels are now behind bars.

"Failure to do so, leads to anxiety and perceptions that police are ineffective, when in fact they are effective."

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