Training on Collection, Preservation, & Analysis of Physical Evidence in Terrorism Cases under Terrorism Investigation Course

02 - 08 January 2020, Hangu. In continuity of the previous training sessions of the Terrorism Investigation Course under the PACT (Pakistan's Action to Counter Terrorism) project, UNODC conducted its 5th session of Training on Terrorism Investigation from 23 December 2019 to 17 January 2020 at Police Training College Hangu, KP. Against this background, the third week of training was delivered on the theme of Collection, Preservation, & Analysis of Physical Evidence in Terrorism Cases. This session was conducted from 2 to 8 January 2020. Thirty-two participants from the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Police attended the training session.

During the session, participants were instructed for six hours a day for the duration of five days. They were successfully trained in the following key areas: Concept of Evidence; Oral and Documentary Evidence; Importance of Preserving the Crime Scene; Legal Frameworks of Evidence; Categorization of Oral Evidence; Types of Evidence; and Process of Collecting Different Types of Evidence at the Crime Scene.

The training session was designed with the purpose of strengthening the participants' fundamental, theoretical knowledge on the significance of collecting and preserving various types of evidence. 

On the first day, trainers elaborated on the basics of types of evidence, including oral and documentary evidence. They also dwelt on the significance of preserving evidence, and the effect of lack of harmony and coordination between investigating officers during case investigation. The day concluded with a group activity whereby participants shared their learning on the concepts discussed, in the light of their personal experiences in the field,

On the remaining days, trainers utilized presentations and case studies as primary tools of imparting knowledge. Participants were then introduced to 'Categories of Evidence and Legal Frameworks Guiding the Process of Evidence Collection' using a case study. Special emphasis was placed on discussing Circumstantial Evidence, the principles guiding it in terrorism cases, and the eliciting of inferences of guilt from circumstances. Participants were also assessed on the skills they gained through a quiz at the end of each day.

On the concluding days attendees were trained on the following topics: Collection and Preservation of Physical, Documentary, and Digital Evidence; Collection and Preservation of DNA, Blood, Body parts, and Bodily fluids'; Collection and Preservation of Explosives; and Collection and Preservation of Fingerprints and Ballistics. These lectures were considered essential as they highlighted the importance of ensuring the safety of explosives preserved, and of other types of evidence in terrorism-related cases.

At the end of the training session, with reference to trace evidence, participants were able to highlight principles of forensic science that came into play when collecting trace evidence. They actively participated in discussions during the subject sessions; and expressed their satisfaction with the knowledge they gained, which should be valuable in dealing with evidence in real time.