New Forensic Specialists Put The Finger On Crime

Victoria’s newest weapons in the fight against theft and high-volume crime have been revealed with new fingerprint experts being recruited to help crack down on car thefts and burglaries.

Acting Premier James Merlino and Minister for Police Lisa Neville today met some of the state’s forensic crime fighters at Victoria Police’s high-tech Macleod forensics facility.

Victoria Police have completed the recruitment of 10 new fingerprint officer positions to allow police to better identify and target repeat offenders.

The new fingerprint officers do vital work fighting crime by helping examine crime scenes, identifying suspects and supporting criminal prosecutions.

In 2015–16, police conducted more than 97,000 fingerprint searches on the National Automated Fingerprint Identification System, identifying more than 10,000 potential suspects.

More than one-third of all recorded crime in Victoria is theft and this boost to forensic resources will give police more power to catch repeat offenders.

Fingerprint evidence is used to investigate the vast majority of crimes but is particularly useful in cases of motor vehicle thefts, thefts from motor vehicles and burglaries where identifying offenders quickly can lead to earlier arrests.

The Labor Government is making the largest investment in policing in Victoria’s history with 3,135 new police over the next five years, with the first officers to be on Victorian streets in coming months.

The record investment in police numbers is at the heart of the Government’s Community Safety Statement which was released in December 2016 and outlines a comprehensive strategy to reduce harm and put the interests of victims first.

The Community Safety Statement gives Victoria Police the powers and resources to crack down on car thefts and burglaries by banning cash for scrap metal, delivering a more streamlined process for taking DNA samples, and examining ways to reduce number plate thefts.

Quotes attributable to Acting Premier James Merlino

“We’re giving the Police the resources they need so they can continue to catch criminals across Victoria.”

“The new fingerprint experts will make DNA sampling more efficient and this will lead to more offenders being held to account sooner.”

Quotes attributable to Minister for Police Lisa Neville

“These new forensic experts give Victoria Police the capability to detect, disrupt and deter criminal activity.”

“This expert capability is one of our most powerful weapons to catch repeat offenders quickly, to take them off our street, and to reduce the harm they cause in our community.”

Published on January 12, 2017