Kenya’s President Uhuru Kenyatta has launched a $34.1 million (Ksh 4 billion) forensic laboratory at the Directorate of Crime Investigation (DCI) headquarters, Nairobi.
The laboratory will support and accelerate crime investigations in the country by enabling factual reconstruction of crime events and the identification of suspects through evidence-based investigations.
DCI boss Goerge Kinoti said, “The dream for the country to have a National Forensic facility that would help in solving crime scientifically has been elusive for many years now, even after successive governments invested billions of shillings in the project.”
With this lab, Kenya will no longer have to send samples to South Africa for forensic analysis. It will also maintain a DNA Index System for use in solving future crimes. The cybercrime and digital forensics lab will be used in collecting evidence from digital equipment like computers, digital cameras, memory cards, flash disks and other storage devices as well as help in recovering deleted short message texts, contact lists, videos and email sources.
Overall, criminal investigations will be fast-tracked.
The forensic lab has 12 units that include: The fingerprints Identification Bureau, Forensic Chemistry Unit, a Cybercrime and Forensic Laboratory unit, a Forensic Imaging and acoustics unit, and more.
Detectives qualified in various academic scientific fields such as computer science, pure mathematics, chemistry, biology, biochemistry, physics and information technology among others, have been employed to apply their specialized skills.
However, President Kenyatta asked the Ministry of Interior to collaborate with the Ministry of ICT to develop ways to improve the capacity of the cybercrime unit within the DCI forensic laboratory.
He also directed the National Police Service to introduce a mandatory continuous professional development programme on Cyber Security for all officers charged with criminal investigations.