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What is Forensic Science?

Forensic Science is any science used for the purpose of serving the law, and therefore provides impartial scientific evidence for use in courts of law. Example, in criminal investigation and trial, the examination of physical evidence may link the defendant to the victim and crime scene, providence evidence of guilt. Forensic Science is multidisciplinary, drawing principally from chemistry, biology and physics but also from geology, psychology, social science, etc.

Practice of Forensic Science

Forensic Science is an applied science. The Forensic Scientist has two equally important roles:

  1. Performance of investigative examinations and laboratory tests to reach a conclusion
  2. Communicator and interpret or of scientific findings - must be able to explain the methods used to reach conclusions in a court of law to the finder of fact, a jury or a judge.

What are the disciplines in the Royal Bahamas Police Force Forensic Science Laboratory?

Presently there are five (5) disciplines of forensic science in the RBPF Forensic Science Lab:-

  • Biology- THe identification and comparison of body fluids and biological material. Helpful in crimes against the person and/ or property where blood, semen or saliva is shed.
  • Chemistry- Physical and chemical analysis of evidentiary materials such as controlled substances, ignitable liquids and paints utilizing physical, analytical and comparison techniques.
  • Toxicology- Isolation, identification, analysis and quantitative of drugs, toxins and poisons from blood, urine and other body tissues.
  • Firearm and Tool marks Examination- Microscopic comparison and identification of tool marks as well as those made by firearms on bullets and cartridge cases.
  • Forensic Computer Examination- Computer data evidence recovery and examination of digital/electronic evidence. Helpful in fraud., computer intrusion(hacking) and electronic stalking/harassment cases.

To have a career in Forensic Science, you must have:

  • Integrity and Independence of mind
  • Manual dexterity and practical analytical skills
  • Common sense and good judgment
  • The capacity to take pains over the routine
  • An inquiring mind/perceptiveness
  • A logical approach to problem solving
  • Articulate communication
  • The capacity to remain lucid and objective:
    • under pressure of work
    • in distressing situation such as at the scene of a murder
    • under cross-examination

How are persons trained to become Forensic Scientists?

  1. For the Technician/Scientists position, there is a mandatory training(In-House-Training) programme which candidates must successfully complete. The Training programme consists of both theoretical and practical exercises
  2. At the end of the Scientist Training programme, the candidate will be qualified to examine and analyses evidence and report the conclusion drawn from the evidence analyses.
  3. Upon completing the technical training programme, the candidate will be qualified to assist with the preparation of evidence for examination processing.

What are the requirements to become a Forensic Scientist?

  1. Be a serving member of the Royal Bahamas Police Force
  2. Successfully complete an assessment examination and interview
  3. Possess a Bachelor Degree or higher in a scientific discipline. example (Biology, Chemistry, Physics, etc.)
  4. Complete Specialized Training in any if the Forensic Science Disciplines
  5. Become Court Certified.