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JCF strengthening investigative processes with technology — police commissioner

Wednesday, June 19, 2019

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KINGSTON, Jamaica — Commissioner of Police, Major General Antony Anderson, says the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) is increasing its use of cyber forensics, ballistics and DNA evidence to strengthen its investigative processes.

Giving an overview of the use of technology in investigations conducted by the JCF, at a plenary session for the Eighth Biennial Jamaica Diaspora Conference on Tuesday held at the Jamaica Conference Centre, Commissioner Anderson revealed that 5,457 crime scene exhibits for DNA analysis were conducted and 9,275 samples tested between March 2018 and March 2019.

Additionally, cyber forensics (digital devices and data), saw 3,395 items processed in 2018 and 1,474 processed from January to May 2019.

He further noted that ballistic evidence created 1,037 links between crime scenes in 2018, while 722 ballistic certificates/reports were processed in the same year.

“This 1,037 is essentially where we have used ballistics to tie different scenes together and know that the same weapon was used in different places. We did that last year 1,037 times,” he pointed out.

The commissioner, who placed much emphasis on public safety, said the use of this technology in investigations assists in building strong cases leading to convictions.

“Since the beginning of the year to the end of May, we had 146 cases through the Home Circuit Court in Kingston, of which 110 resulted in convictions. I think 50 per cent of those pleaded guilty because of the strength of the cases against them,” he said.

With the increased use of technology driving JCF investigations, the police commissioner said the use of eye-witness statements will act as supporting evidence, rather than the primary source of information.

“We are moving away as much as possible from witness statements, although that is still a critical component, to the science. We will use science to support our investigations,” he pointed out.

Giving recent data from the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions, the police commissioner said reports for the St James Division, Western Regional Circuit and Gun Court for the period May 19 to May 24, 2019 indicate that 22 persons were convicted for serious and violent crimes.

The four-day conference is being held from June 16 to 20 under the theme 'Jamaica and the Diaspora: Building Pathways for Sustainable Development'.

The conference, which is being hosted by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, targets expanding and building pathways for the diaspora and Jamaica to work together to prepare effectively for the future within the context of achieving the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, which incorporate the core goals of the Vision 2030 National Development Plan.


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