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Victim Affairs Office to open in Sharjah

Experts say victims with surgeries may present additional information

Gulf News

Abu Dhabi: The only Arab member of Interpol’s Disaster Victim Identification Standing Committee, the Abu Dhabi Police, has expanded both Abu Dhabi and Sharjah Victim Affairs Offices, the Abu Dhabi Police announced.
“The Victim Affairs Office is training 20 to 25 existing Sharjah police officers on DVI, and how to deal with family members and next of kin,” said Colonel Mohammad Ali Al Dallal, deputy chairman of the Victim Affairs Office Committee, Abu Dhabi Police, speaking at the DIV Conference, Middle East and North Africa, in Abu Dhabi.
Established in 2009, the Abu Dhabi Victim Affairs Office currently has 16 employees, six experts and 48 staff to receive phone calls from members of the public in case of disasters, on their emergency number 909.

“In order to communicate with victims, we have contracted a company called Language Line which provides us with lingual translations of the over 200 nationalities present in the UAE. This is done via conference call which can be prepared in a matter of seconds,” Al Dallal said.

Primary identifiers of victims are fingerprints, DNA samples and odontology records.

“However, in cases where the victim has a pacemaker or a false hip, additional unique evidence can be obtained through the serial number located on the device, as no two patients have the same serial number,” said Professor Peter Ellis, Forensic Pathologist at the Queensland Health Forensic and Scientific Services facility, Australia.

“Moreover, identifying the cause of death for each deceased individual may reveal clues as to why the disaster occurred which is especially useful in cases involving transportation such as aeroplane or road vehicle crashes,” Ellis added.

While all post-mortem and ante-mortem information on victims is filed through forms provided by Interpol, Dr Ellis revealed that a computerised system of inputting information called Fast ID was currently being developed.