Victoria Police’s forensic capabilities will receive a huge boost as the Ballarat Forensic Hub commences operations today.
Significant impacts of the hub will be felt across western region, as local police will have faster access to forensic services to assist in investigating crime and apprehending offenders more quickly.
Victoria Police Divisional Commander Acting Superintendent Dan Davison said the new hub would greatly assist police in solving crime to keep the community safe.
“The effects of the Ballarat Forensic Hub will be felt across the western region as local police will no longer need to travel to laboratories in Melbourne to have evidence tested,” A/Superintendent Davison said.
“Local police will now have more immediate access to forensic services, which will assist in detecting and apprehending criminals before they commit further offences.
“With police having to travel to Melbourne less, it gives us more time to have police perform frontline duties and proactively patrol in the community.
“It will also have a flow on effect by redirecting evidence previously sent to the forensic department in Melbourne, meaning police across the entire state will reap the benefits too.”
Victoria Police Forensic Services Executive Director Rebecca Kogios said the Forensic Department was thrilled to be extending its capability to regional communities.
“The state-of-the-art facility will deliver high quality forensic services to regional communities with the aim of fast-tracking investigations,” ED Kogios said.
“The Regional Forensic Hub will house scientific equipment and specialist staff, trained to perform multi-disciplinary evidence recovery across a range of biological, chemical, digital, botanical and fingerprint specialties.”
The Ballarat Forensic Hub will accommodate 14 forensic specialists and support staff.
The Regional Forensic Hub was funded part of the $596 million Public Safety Package announced in the 2016-17 Victorian Budget, which also includes a Forensic Hub in Morwell.
The Morwell Forensic Hub is expected to commence operations within a fortnight, which will provide the same service to the eastern region of Victoria.