Some senior Police Officers, representatives from Judiciary and Non-Governmental Organizations -NGOs have began acquiring skills and knowledge to enable them use DNA (Deoxyribonucleic Acid) technology in investigations and prosecution of cases.
Speaking during the training in Blantyre, Commissioner of Police for the Southern Region Sladge Yoosuf said the Malawi Police Service is committed to empower various stakeholders with such skills and knowledge which will make their work easier.
Yoosuf said lack of knowledge among various stakeholders on DNA evidence in courts is one of the challenges the country faced in solving crimes that require DNA detection as evidence in local courts across the country.
“All along, the need to use DNA in criminal investigations has been there, but there was lack of individual and institutional capacities to embrace the technology, hence the training,” Yoosuf said.
He explained that this is why the Malawi Police Service decided to partner with the European Union to address the problem under the Chilungamo Programme.
Yoosuf said, “This is another milestone in policing and justice administration as it is the first time for the Malawi Police Service to take such an initiative."
According to Yoosuf, Malawi will now start using DNA to support investigations as many countries within the region and beyond are using it in criminal cases thereby increasing access to justice to all people, more especially the vulnerable groups, in particular women, girls, children, the elderly and people living with albinism.
He has since commended Inspector General of Police and EU for coming up with the initiative.
European Union-EU Crime Scene Specialist, Ashley Barrow said the EU recognizes the importance of DNA in criminal investigations, saying among others it will help to solve serious crimes such as defilement, rape, grievous harm and murder.
“Since the 1980s processing of DNA evidence has been used to investigate crimes and identify suspects in different cases and the technology has proven to be one of the effective tools in solving serious crimes,” Barrow said.
The police are expected to start using DNA evidence anytime soon.