Wildlife Vets Namibia is set to conduct an animal crime scene training course from 8 to 10 September, at a venue located about 155 km from Windhoek in the Nina district.

The course has been presented since 2021, and over the years, Wildlife Vets Namibia has acquired a lot of input from police reservists and detectives, as well as a K-9 expert.

“Technically, the police should handle any crime scene. However, Namibia is a vast country, and the police often have limited resources.”

According to Wildlife Vets, the police may not always be able to respond immediately to incidents on farms. Delays of several days can occur before their arrival.

Preserve the scene

The organisation said a major challenge is that most crime scenes are outdoor crime scenes, such as poaching and stock theft.

“This means that wind, rain and animals will quickly destroy the crime and its evidence.”

Wildlife Vets said it is therefore important to secure the crime scene properly, and if the police are unable to come, the farmer will have to collect the evidence themselves; otherwise, no evidence will be left.

“So, ideally, the police will handle the case, but in cases where that is not possible, the farmer, manager or anti-poaching unit leader should step in.”

It added that when this happens, it is important to follow the right steps.

“With this course, we are not aiming to make a detective of you. It is meant to teach you how to preserve a crime scene for the police and the environment and the tourism ministry.”

Wildlife Vets added that when a crime scene is encountered, police and the ministry must be notified accordingly.

“It is important that in cases of serious crime, such as murder or rhino poaching, the crime scene must not be handled.”

Practical training

Throughout the course, participants will gain insight into the significance of DNA and proper evidence collection. They will learn how to approach and manage a crime scene meticulously, identify the various types of evidence that can be gathered, and understand the methods for handling, collecting, and securely storing evidence.

Participants will also learn how to take crime scene photos suitable for court presentation, correctly document their findings, how to maintain the chain of evidence, the different roles in a court case, proper court behaviour, and how to examine body language and see if a possible suspect is lying.

In the morning, lectures will take place, while in the afternoon, participants will go out in the field.

“We will practise photography and collecting evidence, and make shoe print castings and tyre imprints. On the last day, everything that you have learned comes together. We will stage a crime scene, and it’s up to you and your team to correctly approach and handle the crime scene and present what you have found to the ‘police.”

Contact Wildlife Vets for more information.

[Source – Republikein]

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