Determinants of forensic science application in criminal investigation at the Directorate of criminal investigations, Nairobi, Kenya
Kipngetich, Kirui Vincent
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This study sought to assess the determinants of forensic science application in criminal investigations at the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI), Nairobi. The objectives of the study were; to establish availability of forensic tools, level of training of forensic investigators, the effect of existing laws and regulations on the application of forensic science, and determine the moderating influence of management support on criminal investigations conducted by DCI. Actor-Network Theory and Human Capital theory guided the study. Descriptive research design was used in the study. A simple random sampling technique was used in selecting participants. Questionnaires and key informant interviews data collection tolls were used. Approximately 75% of the selected samples respondents participated in the study. The study found that DCI has well-trained and qualified staff with the lowest level of education as Diploma and for every 10 investigators 7 had a Bachelor’s degree and above. Forensic investigators working at the DCI are well skilled and knowledgeable in forensic science, 64% of the investigators are forensic experts. DCI have a well-equipped laboratory with up-to-date database used for the analysis of forensic evidence. However, it was established that DCI does not have adequate forensic field tools used in identification, collection and transportation of evidence from crime scenes to laboratories for analysis, thus hampering the application of forensic science. The study also found that 79.2% of the respondents strongly agree that on-the job training are effective in improving the application of forensic science in investigations. The existing laws and regulations adequately provide guidance on the application of forensic sciences in investigations. However, DCI do not have a well define standard-operating procedures for collection of forensic evidence in the crime scene. The study results indicated that 70.8% of the investigators agreed that Management plays a key role in providing guidance, advice and morale on the application of forensic sciences. It was recommended that for DCI and other investigative agencies to effectively execute their mandate, more funds should be allocated to the institutions to facilitate efficient operations. DCI should improve in providing more forensic tools for collection of evidence in the crime scene and develop elaborate standard operating procedures to guide in the application of forensic sciences. One of the ways DCI can improve the quality of forensic investigation is by regularly training of staff and benchmarking with other agencies and countries conducting forensic investigations.
Africa Nazarene University