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Police to change method of gun residue collection

Published:Monday | February 23, 2015 | 4:13 PM

The Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) has announced that its method of collecting gunshot residue will have to change to suit the lab that does the analyses. 

Gunshot residue is one of the most common and heavily scrutinised sources of trace evidence.

In its latest Force Orders, the JCF notes that residue evidence is collected using cotton swabs containing a certain amount of hydrochloric acid to accommodate the required chemical tests.

According to the JCF, the Institute of Forensic Science and Legal Medicine will now be adopting the internationally accepted technique of gun shot residue detection using the Scanning Electron Microscope.

And the JCF says the new technique will require a number of changes to its method of sample collection.

It explains that Scanning Electron Microscope adhesive stubs, dry swabs that are not placed in acid and the outer garments of clothing are part of the new requirements.

The police say dry swabs and gauze can be collected and stored in clean Ziploc bags as is done with samples currently.