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Busy workload puts strain on RGP investigations budget

POLICE DNA forms for mouth swab / hair sampling kit used on detainee's (Photo John Bugeja) 01.09.17

The Royal Gibraltar Police has already “substantially” overspent on its investigation budget for the year following a number of major crimes and deaths in unexplained circumstances.

The strain on the RGP’s budget was revealed by Superintendent Richard Ullger in an interview with the Chronicle on Gibralar’s new DNA database.

Mr Ullger declined to confirm exact figures, but put the ‘significant’ surpassing of the budget down to the investigation of major incidents including the armed robbery at New Harbours, a number of sudden deaths and the recent serious assault at Flat Bastion Road.

“All of that is costly business for us,” he said, adding that the Gibraltar Government is always very supportive of the RGP and provides support when this happens.

According to the Gibraltar Government Estimates, the RGP’s budget for investigation expenses for the 2017/2018 financial year is £175,000.

In the two preceding financial years, however, the RGP had budgeted the same amount but exceeded it significantly. The actual spend on each of those years was £260,000.

This year, the investigation demands are even greater.

The Chronicle understands that the overall figure spent by the RGP in the financial year to date already exceeds the £260,000 spent in each of the preceding financial years.

The investigation budget is used to pay the cost of scientific processes used in collecting factual evidence ahead of a prosecution.

The investigation process of major incidents involves the detailed examination of a crime scene and the collection of DNA samples and material that could require forensic analysis, meaning costs quickly add up.

By way of example, Mr Ullger explained that a recent sexual assault investigation cost £10,000 in DNA analysis and investigation.

To aid officers in this regard, the RGP recently welcomed the introduction of a dedicated Gibraltar DNA database, a costly but vital asset.


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