Criminals beware

2015-04-30 14:11
Photo: supplied
At the meeting Steven King, Monica Bruun, Sifiso Mhlophe and Mr McColl.

Photo: supplied At the meeting Steven King, Monica Bruun, Sifiso Mhlophe and Mr McColl.

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HILLCREST CPF hosted the DNA Project at the Hillcrest SAPS last week. Members who attended the meeting were enlightened on the importance of a DNA database.

Mr McColl of the DNA Project explained that DNA is as unique to a human­ being as a fingerprint. He said the only case where two individuals can have the same DNA is identical siblings.

“DNA is the blue print of our bodies and is a list of numbers of which 20 are identified and compared. If one number is not the same the DNA samples do not match and do not come from the same person,” said McColl.

“DNA can identify or exclude a suspect. It can link suspects to crime scenes and victims and identify missing persons.”

He said that South Africa is behind in forensic methods, but a new law has been recently passed which would pave the way for getting on par with the rest of the world.

“Cheek swobs are being distributed in police stations throughout the country and officers are being taught how to use them. There are currently four forensic laboratories, but more are in the pipeline. It is only the LCRC units within SAPS that can take and are responsible for collecting samples from crime scenes, whereas cheek swabs of arrested suspects can be undertaken by ordinary­ SAPS members as long as they follow procedure not to contaminate samples,” he said.

“Every convicted individual will be DNA tested and added to the national data base. When a swab is sent to a laboratory it will have 30 days to extract the DNA and return the results to the station from where the swabs came.”

He said that anything a suspect leaves behind can leave DNA. DNA material (fluid and skin) which is kept cool and secure can last for decades­. However, DNA left on the skin of another human being will be dissolved by the cells of that human being within 48 hours.

He said it is important not to disturb a crime scene in order to protect possible evidence and a few rules apply to anybody being first on a scene. “D - don’t touch, N - note, record, observe­, A - assist police officers, C - careful, contamination, S - secure the crime scene,” he concluded.

For more information on DNA or the project contact Hillcrest CPF public relations officer Steven King on 082 920 5799

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