IG Boinnet: Construction of forensic laboratory almost complete

Inspector General of Police Joseph Boinnet 

Serious crimes will soon be solved fast following an announcement by Inspector General of Police Joseph Boinnet that the forensic laboratory which has been under construction for decades is almost complete.

Boinnet said the construction is 98 percent complete and its inauguration will be in weeks.

"I visited the NPS Forensic Lab to check on the status of its construction. It is 98% complete and will be concluded in the next few weeks," he said.

This means the laboratory will be put into use to solve many unsolved cases including murder, robbery with violence, rape and housebreaking among others.

Many crimes go unsolved because police lack a laboratory to help them address the cases.

The service relies on foreign laboratories to conduct tests for evidence on issues under probe. For instance, toxicological tests are done either in South Africa or in Europe.

The laboratory is based at the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) headquarters. According to a strategic plan launched recently, the DCI plans to spend a staggering Sh7.6 billion in mobilizing operations of the forensic laboratory.

The money is part of the Sh38.5 billion the inspectorate earmarks for revamping its operations in the next three years.

The inspectorate plans to spend Sh14.2 million in training and developing specilised investigative capacity, Sh1.6 billion in completion of the construction of the forensic laboratory, Sh4 billion in equipping it and Sh2 billion in devolving forensic services to counties and sub counties in the period.

This will among others see its population increased from current 5,436 to 10, 500 as it seeks to expand its services to all counties.

A forensic laboratory is key in solving many crimes.

A new 2015-2020 Strategic plan launched in Nairobi says the focus will be on four main areas including building institutional capacity, strengthening crime management, cooperating locally and internationally and establishing robust processes and systems.

DCI Ndegwa Muhoro said the identified strategies will be rolled out to the lowest commands where specific plans will be developed.

"The plan will be reviewed from time to time with a view of making it dynamic, relevant and more client focused," he said.

Among the proposed changes include new ranks and designations to include the "detective title" as part of the branding.

According to the plan, Sh4 billion will be used in providing comprehensive medical cover and life insurance policy for the personnel, Sh20 million to provide guidance and counseling services and Sh4 billion in acquisition of modern security equipment and ICT solutions.

The process of mainstreaming human rights issues in the operations and planning will spend Sh28 million, while gender and disability issues will be addressed with Sh8.4 million each in the period.

Development of the DCI website and Internet will swallow Sh22 million while implementation of unified communication system, command and control centre at the inspectorate will take Sh20 million.

The plan says development of customized citizen's delivery charter will take Sh17.5 million, establishment of a Public Relations office will require Sh17 million while development of national criminal intelligence model will swallow Sh19 million by 2020.

Integration of security systems with national and international law enforcement agencies will swallow Sh200 million while use of biometric control system will need Sh151 million.

The plan says there is high staff turnover, inadequate resources, limitations in the priorities if development partners, inadequate investigations capacity, lack of a centralized crime and criminals' data, inadequate number of professionals in forensics, weak organizational culture, non adherence to professional ethics and rapid development of ICTs and persistent cyber threats which have been identified as main threats.

The money to be used in the plan will be realized from the government and other development partners.