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Cases Going Cold: Huge Backlog At Mounties’ Forensics Lab

Cases Going Cold: Huge Backlog At Mounties’ Forensics Lab

The ‘tough on crime’ Conservative government has no problem with the fact that there is a huge backlog in evidence processing at the RCMP (Mounties) forensics lab. In response to concerns from police in New Brunswick, currently investigating the murder of Richard Oland, Public Safety Minister Vic Toews said that if the provinces want to see improvements, they should pay for them.

Approximately 70 percent of RCMP forensic services are used by other police forces across Canada.

Richard Oland was a prominent businessman in Saint John, New Brunswick. No one has been arrested or charged in the case, which the police believe was murder.According to an affidavit obtained by CBC News, the investigators in the Oland case are only able to send a few pieces of evidence at a time. A year after the case began, they still have a pile of evidence waiting to be sent for processing.

This situation doesn’t seem to vibe with the Harper government’s assertion that they are focussing on the victim’s rights and punishing criminals as swiftly as possible.

In May 2012, the RCMP announced that it would be closing three of their six forensics labs across the country by 2014. The decision was made despite a 2011 audit that showed labs were not keeping up with demand. The closing of labs in Halifax, Winnipeg and Regina is supposed to save $3.5 million a year which doesn’t seem like a very high cost to pay for faster answers. The decision was made at a time when the labs were reportedly seeing requests from other police forces almost double. The officer in charge of forensics felt certain that the lab closures would streamline their services.

Clearly, that hasn’t happened.

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Photo Credit: West Midlands Police

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27 comments

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1:14PM PST on Nov 12, 2012

that's horrible, with Harper everything seems to be going to shit

5:38AM PDT on Aug 27, 2012

The Harper Regime is proving that it is not tough on crime after all. It merely wishes to appear to be tough on crime to appeal to one of its core constituencies.

It is all about appearances with this gang. "Damn the science and the evidence; we make our decisions based on what our spin doctors tell us!"

10:48AM PDT on Aug 26, 2012

Not good at all. So many things being cut and it is rarely if ever a good thing.

10:14PM PDT on Aug 25, 2012

If the people are calling for Harper's party to be investigated for election crimes, maybe it is to his own advantage to have serious backlogs in the forensic departments.

Well, so much for being a little tough on crime kind of guy. Maybe he should re-think whether it is really is a good idea form him to go there.

12:57PM PDT on Aug 24, 2012

noted

12:56PM PDT on Aug 24, 2012

noted

10:35PM PDT on Aug 23, 2012

Only an imbecile would truly believe that closing labs and cutting forensic jobs would result in efficiency improvements. Honest to Pete, how stupid does Harper think we all are???

8:32PM PDT on Aug 23, 2012

GOP of Canada.

7:06PM PDT on Aug 23, 2012

We have enough money to fund inquiries, useless research into trivial garbage, lobbyists, royal visits, Olympics and even advertising but not enough for education, health care and now swift justice. Obviously we have our priorities a little messed up!

5:27PM PDT on Aug 23, 2012

Bureauracy at it's very best.

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