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Forensic DNA Robotics to boost NSW crime fighting capabilities

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9th July, 2024

A $4 million NSW Government investment in new robotics technology will mean faster DNA testing to help police solve crime.

State-of-the-art Foren­sic DNA robot­ics equip­ment has now been installed at NSW Health Pathology’s Foren­sic and Ana­lyt­i­cal Sci­ence Ser­vice (FASS) in Lid­combe, with val­i­da­tion of the tech­nol­o­gy cur­rent­ly underway.

The new tech­nol­o­gy will enable faster DNA test­ing to sup­port intel­li­gence-led polic­ing and crime dis­rup­tion strate­gies and is expect­ed to become oper­a­tional in 2025.

Min­is­ter for Police and Counter-ter­ror­ism Yas­min Cat­ley, Min­is­ter for Health Ryan Park and Mem­ber for Auburn Lyn­da Voltz recent­ly vis­it­ed the Lid­combe facil­i­ty to view the new tech­nol­o­gy and hear about the vital impact it will have in time-crit­i­cal police investigations.

People talking in a high-tech laboratory.
Dr Cather­ine Hitch­cock explain­ing the new tech­nol­o­gy to Police Min­is­ter Yas­min Cat­ley and Health Min­is­ter Ryan Park.

Our Crim­i­nal­is­tics experts exam­ine evi­dence and assist police in inves­ti­gat­ing a range of crimes, including:
• homicide
• arson
• assault
• sex­u­al assault
• break and enters
• stolen motor vehicles

FASS Oper­a­tions Direc­tor of Crim­i­nal­is­tics Sharon Neville said the new robot­ics will ensure the Foren­sic Biology/DNA lab­o­ra­to­ry can keep up with increas­ing demand, while main­tain­ing high-qual­i­ty, reli­able results.

“Our DNA lab­o­ra­to­ry is a world-leader when it comes to foren­sic ser­vices. We are the busiest lab­o­ra­to­ry in Aus­trala­sia and one of the high­est through­put lab­o­ra­to­ries in the world,” Ms Neville said.

“We process up to 100,000 DNA sam­ples each year, and this tech­nol­o­gy will rev­o­lu­tionise our capabilities.

“The new robot­ics upgrade will make our facil­i­ty the most auto­mat­ed foren­sic lab­o­ra­to­ry in the country.”

A woman smiling, standing next to a high-tech DNA robotics machine.
Oper­a­tions Direc­tor of Crim­i­nal­is­tics, Sharon Neville, with the new robot­ics technology.

NSW Health Pathology’s FASS pro­vides inde­pen­dent analy­sis to the NSW health and jus­tice sys­tems with spe­cial­ist foren­sic med­i­cine, foren­sic biology/DNA, illic­it drugs analy­sis, chem­i­cal crim­i­nal­is­tics, foren­sic and envi­ron­men­tal tox­i­col­o­gy test­ing and evi­dence recov­ery services.

It sup­ports a range of gov­ern­ment agen­cies, includ­ing NSW Health, the NSW Police Force, Depart­ment of Com­mu­ni­ties and Jus­tice, the Coro­ners Court and Trans­port for NSW.


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