Polygraphers volunteer tests in child abuse cases

2013-03-04 00:00

POLYGRAPH examiners from around the country have volunteered their services to conduct specific polygraphs in child abuse cases.

This is part of the South African Professional Polygraph Association’s (Sappa) recently launched social development programme.

One of the volunteers, Bradley Lancaster who is a forensic psychophysiologist, said this was their way of giving back.

“A lot of us got together and decided to volunteer our services to the community,” he said.

Their services are free.

Out of the ten KwaZulu-Natal volunteers, Lancaster is the only one who represents Pietermaritzburg.

He said their services are offered to underprivileged people who cannot afford to pay for a polygraph examination, which costs around R600.

Lancaster explained: “You are sitting there and you don’t really have the money for services of a polygraph examiner, there’s allegations flying around that daddy is doing this to daughter and daddy says ‘well, test me’. ”

He said the next step would be to bring the details of the case to them and they would have to get permission from the board to go ahead and test the alleged perpetrator.

“We can’t test anybody without their permission,” he added.

These polygraphers have years of experience behind them and believe that this will be very helpful in fighting abuse.

Special training has been conducted in Gauteng and KZN for the testing of this type of incident.

Although this method hasn’t been tried in KZN, Lancaster said it has already been successfully used in five cases in Gauteng.

In one incident, they identified a brother who had been molesting his 10-year-old sister since she was six years old.

“All tests are checked and monitored by the Sappa board members who ensure that these tests are of a high standard and meet with the specific requirements.”

He said this was probably one of the most accurate methods of testing at the moment.

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