The Chemistry Department is at the forefront of the fight against drugs and gun crimes by conducting vital analyses of evidence submitted in the investigation of these and other offences.
The Department facilitates analyses in the following areas of forensic chemistry: Drugs of abuse, Toxicology and Pharmaceuticals and Trace evidence analysis for fires, explosions, gunshot residue as well as comparative and analytical chemistry for soil, glass and paint. The Department also assists in crime scene investigations relating to fires, explosions, drugs of abuse, precursors and petroleum products. Routine Analysis is carried out in the following areas:
Drugs of Abuse
Drugs of abuse such as ganja and cocaine, heroin, synthetic drugs and unknowns are identified and/or quantified using qualitative tests and instrumentation.
Analysis are done on samples are collected by the pathologist during a post-mortem or by crime scene investigators to identify any substances that may have contributed to the death of an individual, such as alcohol, drugs (illicit, over-the-counter or prescription), pesticides and gases (carbon monoxide).
Non-biological evidence also analyzed such as food, tablets, alcohol, corrosive substances, irritants (pepper spray) and unknowns.
Fires and Explosions
We examine fire and explosion scenes to determine cause and origin. For fire scenes, the analyses of the samples assist in determining whether or not an accelerant was used in the fire and for explosions, analysis of samples helps to identify the type of explosive that may have been used.
In addition, petroleum products are often examined regarding simple larceny and breaches of the country’s petroleum regulations.
Comparative & Analytical Chemistry
Trace evidence such as soil, glass and paint found at crime scenes are compared to similar items of known origin in order to link victim, suspect and crime scene. The cases submitted tend to evolve from hit-and-runs, death investigations and shooting incidents.
The identification and analysis of gunshot residue from stubs of hands and clothing taken from persons alleged to be involved in or in close proximity to the shooting.