Regional FSAs being set up to improve criminal detection facilities

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The Ministry of Interior is in process of establishing regional Forensic Science Agencies (FSAs) to improve criminal detection facilities and enhance the capacity of law enforcement agencies through modern scientific tools and training. The chapters of Forensic Science Agency (NFSA) at Islamabad and Lahore are working while the other provincial Capitals – Peshawar, Karachi and Quetta would also have the same facility which would be equipped with latest criminal investigation technologies. A senior official on Thursday said all the regional NFAs would be linked with the main National Forensic Science Agency at Islamabad. A training institute at Federal Capital is also part of plan for the capacity building of technical staff and forensic analysis, he added. He said the NFSA at Islamabad was conducting DNA tests and during last few months it has conducted hundreds of such tests to facilitate criminal justice system.
The official said the other specialized features of NFSA are Laboratory Information Management System (LIMS), DNA database and Ballistic Database and added as part of upgradation process of DNA lab, new and latest equipment including real time PCR 7500 have been arranged. He said in addition to this, latest genetic analysers are being inducted in the DNA lab at Islamabad which were helping them enhance the capacity of lab, enabling it to handle a large number of cases such as mass disaster and bomb blasts etc.
The official said the DNA lab was upgraded under the guidance of a forensic expert and presently, it is providing forensic DNA services in the following areas include body identification, parentage analysis, bomb blast and victims of homicide and cross-border terrorism.
The quality management standards were being introduced to make the lab comparable with any international standard DNA labs in the region, he said.
“We have also established an Evidence Receiving Unit (ERU) initially for DNA samples to ensure quality samples received at lab and also maintain chain of custody,” he said, adding that a Serology Unit would also be established.
He said a helpline +92-51-9267685 have been established in ERU to support law enforcement agencies for helping them to get proper collection, packaging and transportation of DNA samples to the NFSA Lab. Normally samples are received in the form of blood, bones, muscles, cartilages and materials with biological stains etc.
About the main objectives of NFSA, the official said these are to help in achieving public trust in the criminal justice system of the country.