Friday, July 3, 2020

Police to get state of the art forensic laboratory

Botswana Police Service (BPS) is constructing a modern state of the art forensic Science laboratory facility that will cost government about P267 million.

The country has been outsourcing some forensic analysis services to some foreign agencies outside the country.

In a telephone interview with The Telegraph, the director of forensic Science Laboratory Dr Helen Magora said the construction of the state of the art facility is underway. She said the plan was shelved during the National Development Plan (NDP9) due to financial challenges.

She explained that her unit was established in 1988 adding that since then they did not have any permanent office space neither at BPS headquarters nor any nearby police stations.

She said due to lack of office space their offices were all over the capital city rather than being in one place and that was a challenge.

“It was very difficult to operate under such conditions because we were not under one roof,’ she said.

Dr. Magora said during that time her unit offered very limited services and some of the cases analysis had to be sent to neighbouring countries that were providing  forensic science services.

“Those days when our unit was still developing we had to rely on the Zimbabweans to assist us to conduct ballistic analysis as we did not have that technical expertise and as the unit grew such analysis were stopped,” she said.

Dr. Magora said that almost all the scientific analysis is being conducted in Botswana except only one service which her unit is unable to conduct analysis.

“I am not in a position to discuss such service with the media for security reasons. But I’m hoping that in the near future we will be able to conduct such a analysis locally,” she said.

She further revealed that so far the numbers of pathologists are growing as compared to the past adding that locals are now interested in the profession.

The multi-million pula project is expected to take 28 months to complete and it will be constructed at the old BPS College (Gaborone Village).

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Sunday Standard June 28 – 4 July

Digital copy of Sunday Standard issue of June 28 - 4 July, 2020.