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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 200737 Find in a Library
Title: Forensics Under the Microscope: Challenges in Providing Forensic Science Services in Queensland
Corporate Author: Queensland Crime and Misconduct Cmssn
Date Published: October 2002
Page Count: 40
Sponsoring Agency: Queensland Crime and Misconduct Cmssn
Brisbane Qld 4001, Australia
Publication Number: ISBN 0 951870 02
Sale Source: Queensland Crime and Misconduct Cmssn
GPO Box 3123
Level 3, Terrica Place
140 Creek Street
Brisbane Qld 4001,
Type: Legislation/Policy Analysis
Format: Document
Language: English
Country: Australia
Annotation: This document discusses the challenges in providing forensic science services in Queensland (Australia).
Abstract: In 2001, an appeal against a rape conviction was upheld when fresh forensic evidence proved the appellant was not guilty of the crime. An investigation by the Crime and Misconduct Commission (CMC) found that there was no basis for criminal or disciplinary proceedings against any person. Although the Commission found no basis for any criminal or disciplinary proceedings, the investigation brought into focus the relationship between the Queensland Police Service (QPS) and Queensland Health’s forensic science services. Forensic science services present many important opportunities for shaping court outcomes. But the rapid development of these techniques and related services, as well as the rapid increase of demand, have outstripped the capacity of established systems for ensuring effective court outcomes. Concerns regarding the efficiency of forensic science services include police procedures for identifying, collecting, and passing on items for scientific examination; training for police investigators and senior crime staff; and the need to make better use of information technology for record keeping and information sharing. Recommendations have been developed for forensic science stakeholders. The first recommendation is that the QPS and the Queensland Health Scientific Services (QHSS) collaborate on the preparation of protocols and guidelines to ensure the most prompt, transparent, and effective means of relaying requests; and develop strategies that will make the number of items submitted for forensic testing more manageable. The second recommendation is that the QPS and QHSS collaborate on developing a coordinated and ongoing training program for key agencies involved in the delivery of forensic science services. The third recommendation is that an interagency working party be established to explore efficient work practices within and between all agencies involved in the delivery of forensic science services. 2 tables, 4 figures, 18 footnotes, 16 references
Main Term(s): Australia; Forensic sciences
Index Term(s): Blood/body fluid analysis; Crime laboratories; Criminal investigation; DNA fingerprinting; Hair and fiber analysis; Scientific testimony; Suspect identification
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