Minister of Home Affairs Robeson Benn recently announced that a DNA testing machine has been purchased to boost the nation’s efficiency in crime-solving. Benn, who was at the time speaking at a special awards ceremony for the Criminal Investigators Department (CID), explained that the machine will arrive in April 2023.

He noted that with the purchase of the new device, DNA testing will be done locally, which will minimize the waiting time of sending samples overseas for testing. During his brief remarks, Benn said he is aware of the problems faced by the CID with regard to DNA testing.

“We would be able to be in a position to do our own testing in Guyana at the Guyana Forensic Laboratory. We won’t have to spend time and have the long wait to get DNA tests done overseas and maybe we might have a way of burial for particular cases where bodies or remains are still in waiting,” Minister Benn said.

The minister further noted that crime is one of the greatest hindrances to Guyana’s national development. He noted that while crime has seen a reduction this year, the prevalence of criminal activities still poses a threat to public security.

The Committee of Supply earlier in December had approved $50.5 million for the provision of additional resources to support the Guyana Forensic Science Laboratory, specifically for the acquisition of a DNA analysis workflow system.

This system is expected to enhance Guyana’s DNA testing capability and assist in criminal investigations. According to Crime Chief Wendell Blanhum last month, DNA testing had hit a snag since testing was unable to be done due to an inoperable machine.

The government said that five DNA Analysts will be certified to operate the new DNA testing machine. Additional persons are expected to be trained in DNA analysis in an effort to reduce the backlog of DNA samples.


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