Guyana still unable to conduct DNA testing to solve crimes, Home Affairs Ministry procuring new machine and reagents

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WhatsApp Image 2022-11-17 at 5.14.20 PM-4d99b049

The unavailability of local DNA testing continues to stymie the Guyana Police Force’s crime-solving efforts. Crime Chief, Wendell Blanhum earlier this week disclosed that the Guyana Forensic Science Laboratory cannot conduct DNA testing in its current state. As a result, a backlog of in excess of twenty cases that are presently before the courts. 

He noted that while it is expensive for the samples to be sent abroad for testing, some of them were shipped to Miami where an analysis was done. 

“We are hoping that, that situation can be resolved as early as possible,” he said. 

Minister of Home Affairs, Robeson Benn explained that efforts were made to furnish the laboratory with the necessary equipment, however, there were some challenges with acquiring the reagents. 

“A machine was bought and installed. However, the company which provided the machine was taken over by another company, a competitor. They discontinued manufacturing the machine we received as well as the supplying reagents, so we are now going again to get the monies to get a better machine which will be supported by reagents and technical interventions,” Benn told reporters. 

Benn did not provide a definitive timeline for the procurement of the machine and its reagents but he said it will be done soon.

Meanwhile, the force is also facing challenges with the country’s recidivism rate, which is on the increase, poor CCTV images, and porous borders, among other things. 

According to the Crime Chief repeat offenders would return to a life of crime due to difficulties in acquiring jobs.

He said too, that a total of 14 police officers were charged thus far in 2022, for conspiracy to obstruct the course of justice and corruption, among other crimes.

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