Officials during a press conference by the General Department of Forensic Science and Criminology of Dubai Police on Thursday Image Credit: Supplied

Dubai: Dubai Police conducted over 58,000 forensic tests to solve cases reported in 2023, top officers said on Thursday.

The tests were conducted to examine various forensic evidences and provide specialised reports to the relevant authorities in Dubai and other emirates.

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Major General Ahmad Thani bin Ghalita Al Muhairi, Director of the General Department of Forensic Science and Criminology said the majority of the tests were conducted for investigating cases in Dubai, with around two to three per cent of the tests done for facilitating investigations in cases reported in other emirates.

The huge volume of the forensic examinations was among other achievements of the General Department of Forensic Science and Criminology highlighted at a press conference in Dubai.

Senior officers said the Department has achieved several breakthroughs, inventions, and accolades through its efforts to strengthen the police work system, enhance security and public safety, uncover critical evidence to support criminal investigations, and provide conclusive evidence to the judiciary to help deliver justice.

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Tracking criminals, tracing victims

Lieutenant Colonel Dr Rashid Hamdan Al Ghafri, director of the International Centre for Forensic Science, said the Department has achieved six patents for its innovative products. These include a latest tool to analyse male DNA. He said this is especially used to nab the culprits in sexual assault cases, and has been adopted as a standard test by various international entities.

Major Dr Mohamed Ali Al Marri from the Genome Centre, which was launched under the Department in 2023, said Dubai Police can now identify highly decomposed bodies and also distant relatives. He said complete genome sequencing helps in forensic cases, especially in identifying individuals with highly degraded DNA that cannot be identified through standard DNA tests.

Additionally, the Centre can now analyse non-human samples, which is crucial in scenarios such as future epidemics. This allows the police to determine the genetic sequence of specific viruses or bacteria and study all variations within any individual, he added.

Disaster victim identification

Officials said the Department was also involved in the UAE team of Disaster Victim Identification (DVI) deployed to Libya. Ten expert specialists in fields such as forensic medicine, DNA analysis, fingerprinting, and crime scene investigation were sent to aid in the identification of victims following a natural disaster.

They said Dubai Police also employs globally recognised forensic science methodologies in its specialised work, including human remains recovery, blood spatter analysis, underwater crime scene investigation, forensic entomology, criminal profiling, and facial reconstruction.

Growing in strength, achievements

The department that started off with just a handful of experts in 1982 has now flourished manifold with a highly skilled team of 280 experts including 172 males, and 108 females, across a diverse range of critical scientific disciplines, pointed out Deputy Director-General for Administrative Affairs Brigadier Maki Sulaiman.

These specialists hold academic credentials such as doctorates, master’s degrees, and bachelor’s degrees in law and police science, natural sciences, technology, administrative sciences, engineering, medicine, and various other fields.

Over the past five years, the department has registered 143 intellectual classifications, published 78 scientific research papers and developed 20 research projects. Furthermore, the Department holds memberships in 262 international and local organisations and institutions.

It has also achieved seven ISO certifications, published 78 research papers, established 30 strategic partnerships, and received 18 awards in various scientific and forensic fields.

Synthetic drugs

The toxicology and chemistry experts at the Drugs Observatory Centre ‘Marsad’ (Arabic for observatory) detected 16 new types of synthetic drugs during 2022-2023. This was accomplished through experiments, research, and laboratory analyses that detected the presence of harmful substances affecting human health and mental well-being.