Cooperation a must to fight crime: Police commissioner

|     James Kon     |

COOPERATION between all ASEAN National Police (ASEANAPOL) member countries in fighting and solving criminal cases in the field of forensic science is important, Commissioner of the Royal Brunei Police Force Dato Paduka Seri Haji Mohd Jammy bin Haji Muhd Shah Al-Islam said.

The police commissioner was speaking as the guest of honour at the opening ceremony of the 3rd ASEANAPOL Forensic Science Network (AFSN) annual meeting held at the Royal Brunei Police Force headquarters in Jalan Tungku.

The meeting will focus on two main areas of forensic science: Disaster Victim Identification (DVI) and Crime Scene Investigation (CSI).

“With easy access to international travel, crime indeed doesn’t stop at national borders,” Dato Paduka Seri Haji Mohd Jammy added. “Sometimes we need forensic evidence from other countries to complete our investigations. Thus to assure the evidence is (admissible) in other countries, it is essential that proper management of the evidence is conducted right from the beginning, that is from the scene of crime itself.”

Standardising crime scene investigation procedures among ASEANAPOL member countries, Dato Paduka Seri Haji Mohd Jammy said, “would be ideal although there are differences in our capacities and capabilities”, adding that nonetheless efforts made towards harmonising the procedures will suffice for regional cooperation.

Commissioner of the Royal Brunei Police Force Dato Paduka Seri Haji Mohd Jammy bin Haji Muhd Shah Al-Islam speaks at the ceremony yesterday
Commissioner of the Royal Brunei Police Force Dato Paduka Seri Haji Mohd Jammy bin Haji Muhd Shah Al-Islam with the delegates. – PHOTOS: JAMES KON

The police commissioner iterated the need to work together in this age, noting that effective regional and international cooperation especially in forensic fields can only be achieved through a common desire to improve services and a determination to fight and solve criminal cases.

The sharing of practices and experience will definitely add value to such cooperation, he said.

“We will benefit from such cooperation because in the end we will be part of a larger team that ultimately works together to keep the region safe. Time is of the essence. We need to respond in a quick and timely manner to help and support one another.”

Dato Paduka Seri Haji Mohd Jammy, shifting his attention to forensic science, noted that the field is “unquestionably a vital tool in criminal investigation”.

“The noble idea behind this is to seriously share technology knowhow related to forensic science, experience and expertise. This would in turn close any (knowledge or skills) gap among ASEANAPOL member countries,” he said.

“Forensic science mutates in many forms and new discoveries will come into existence. There is no end to it. This is an added advantage to law enforcement. This is more evident today where cold cases 40 years or older are being reinvestigated or reopened with (advances in) forensic science and (DNA technology). These have been successful in convicting those who perpetrated or committed heinous crimes thinking that they could get away and hoodwink the law enforcement.”

The police commissioner called for ASEANAPOL member countries to demonstrate better foresight and be a step ahead by continuing to keep up-to-date in terms of their crime-fighting capacities and capabilities, by optimally applying the latest technologies in the field.

Elaborating on the standardisation of crime-fighting procedures among the member countries, Dato Paduka Seri Haji Mohd Jammy said, “It is important we adopt a standard operating procedure to ensure everyone involved can work amicably and successfully together. This is where the AFSN can prepare ASEANAPOL member countries (to devise) a uniform system that can work effectively whenever there is a need to send assistance to affected ASEANAPOL member countries.

“One of the enabling tools is the ASEANAPOL Communication and Coordination Protocol for Crisis Management signed during the 36th ASEANAPOL Conference in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.”

In a separate address, the Secretary General of ASEANAPOL Wee Aik Boon highlighted that forensic science is an important aspect in the grouping’s policing works, noting that over the years, it has witnessed many changes and developments in the policing field.

This year’s AFSN annual meeting comes with the theme ‘Forensic Through Technology Innovation’ and sees two presentations being delivered – ‘Mobile Polarised Multispectral Imaging Technology for Forensic Investigation’ by Osman Eski of Forenscope Ltd and ‘DVI Training Effort by ICRC’ by Jacqueline Rodriguez Fernandez from the International Committee of the Red Cross.

Also present at the opening ceremony were Acting Deputy Commissioner of Police ACP Pengiran Dato Paduka Haji Mohd Jefri bin Pengiran Haji Abdul Hamid, and senior officials from the Royal Brunei Police Force.