Two senior Forensic officials from the New Zealand based Institute of Environmental Science and Research Limited (ESR) are in the country to conduct a scope of the Fiji Police Forensics Chemistry lab as the institution looks to accredit more scientific experts in light of the growing demands on its services.
ESR’s Senior Scientist – Forensic Biology Ms Heidi Baker is accompanied by Ms Anna Pertricevich the Forensic Quality Manager and the New Zealand High Commission’s Liaison Officer Courtney Rose paid a courtesy call to the Commissioner of Police Brigadier General Sitiveni Qiliho earlier this week.
The ESR is a Crown Research Institute that provides science services and research capability across a number of Science disciplines and works with the New Zealand Police and international law enforcement. The institution is known to provide training for forensic scientists, Police scene-of-crime officers, police investigators and other law enforcement agencies in New Zealand and around the world.
In welcoming the two, Commissioner Brigadier General Qiliho said Fiji was already assisting its neighbours in areas of Forensic capabilities and was looking to attain accreditation for more of its personnel to be able to increase its level of co-operation.
“We are already assisting our neighbours with our Pathologist and Forensic team, and we look to collaborate further so we are able to step up our level of service delivery”.
Ms Baker who is a DNA specialist said she was impressed by the current Forensic capabilities.
“We’ve been so impressed and while we have not visited other Pacific Island Countries we have heard that Fiji is leading in the field of Forensics and we are happy to assist in whatever way possible”.
“For anyone in the field of forensics, you’re not in it for the money, but you’re in it for the good and for the community and that is why you will find a lot of passionate and driven people in this profession, and the team at your Forensics lab are no different as we have seen them working tirelessly in meeting the growing demands placed on their services”.
The two senior ESR officials will also meet other law enforcement stakeholders before they depart on Saturday.