Forensic training Rwandan police officers succesfully completed

A team of forensic experts of Maastricht University trained 20 Rwandan police officers at the National Police College in Musanze, Rwanda, from 30 October to 19 November.  The training was developed and delivered by a team of experts that was brought together by the Maastricht University Centre for International Cooperation in Academic Development (MUNDO). The training took place in the framework of Rwanda’s efforts to expand its forensic capacity with a brand new forensic laboratory in the capital Kigali.

The laboratory, which will open its doors in the first quarter of 2017, will be equipped with instruments for conducting forensic DNA analysis, toxicology and micro-biology. In order to take full advantage of this investment it is crucial to that the entire chain of custody of forensic material functions well. One of the links in the chain of custrody that requires strengthening are the police officers who are in charge of collecting forensic material at the crime scene. Rwandan police investigators lack knowledge and skills in the areas of forensic investigation and obtaining eye witness testimony. Neither does the country have a training institute for forensic investigation. The police men and women that have been trained by Maastricht University are expected to pass on what they have learned to their colleagues through on-the-job training.

The training provided the police investigators with a range of critical concepts, proven methods and practical skills needed to effectively engage in crime scene management and investigation, obtaining eye witness testimony, process management and meeting the requirements for forensic research.

The proposal for the training was developed and submitted to Nuffic by the Maastricht University Centre for International Cooperation in Academic Development (MUNDO). Key players in this project are The Maastricht Forensic Institute (TMFI) and the Forensic Psychology section of Maastricht University.

The Maastricht Forensic Institute (TMFI) is one of the three top institutes in the Netherlands that engages in forensic technical and scientific research. Because TMFI works in collaboration with the Forensic Psychology section of Maastricht University, it is the only forensic institute in the Netherlands that has the capacity to integrate technical forensic investigation (investigation in physical, chemical, biological or digital trace evidence) with expertise pertaining to the legal and behavioural sciences. Due to this combination of diverse areas of expertise the consortium is well equipped to support the Rwanda National Police in developing their forensic capacity.

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