Forensic training in skeletal remains recovery

More than 30 forensic police officers and scientists from around the State and other Australian jurisdictions are set to boost their skills during a four day workshop in skeletal remains recovery to be held in Tasmania.

Inspector Grant Twining, of Southern Forensic Services, said that it was the second time Tasmania had hosted skeletal remains recovery training, the last time being in 2009.

“The workshop aims to provide the participants with the theory and practical skills required to plan, search for and locate skeletal remains and related evidence in varying environments using a wide range of forensic skills, disciplines and technological resources,” Inspector Twining said.

“These searching and planning skills are applicable to a wide range of crime scenes, with the methodology being used providing participants with a thorough and meticulous processing method for any crime scene.

“The remains and evidence we’re looking for involve a wide range of forensic evidence and Forensic Science Service Tasmania (FSST) is also running concurrent DNA experiments.

“Training such as this is really important for Tasmania Police because it helps us gain vital practical experience in dealing with skeletal recovery. It’s also a fantastic opportunity for us to share our learnings with other jurisdictions.”

Inspector Twining said that such courses took a huge amount of preparation and monitoring from the burial to the exhumation.

“Earlier this week, course participants undertook theoretical training and yesterday and today we’ve been focussing on the practical side.

Representatives from NSW, Victoria, Western Australia, Queensland, the Northern Territory and the Australian Federal Police are attending.

Ten Tasmanian police officers currently involved in crime scene work and 7 non-forensic officers are taking part in the course, as well as two members from FSST.

University of Tasmania geo-physics honours students have also been involved.