The Netherlands Forensic Institute (NFI) has been asked by the City of Cape Town to set up an innovative forensic centre in premises to be made available by the City. It is expected that this location will be used to organise training courses and exercises for South African public partners. If the plans proceed, forensic experts of the NFI will organise training courses for the South African criminal law and security sectors. In doing so, the NFI meets requests from South African authorities.
On Thursday 6 June, Alderman Jean-Pierre Smith of Cape Town presented a letter from the City of Cape Town to Jozias van Aartsen, Mayor of The Hague, in which the City expressed its intention. Secretary General Pieter Cloo of the Ministry of Security and Justice and NFI Director Kees Möhring were also present on this occasion and expressed their support for this innovative cooperation between the NFI and Cape Town.
Forensic training courses
The crime rate in South Africa is high, but forensic evidence is hardly ever used in court. By increasing forensic awareness among, in particular, government officials who are the first to arrive at the crime scene, the NFI will be able to assist the South Africans in reducing crime. To realise this, the NFI also explicitly seeks cooperation with the South African police.
The NFI will use the training centre in Cape Town to train people in conducting investigations at the crime scene, with the aid of a training location full of innovative techniques that makes it possible to imitate the crime scene in a ‘virtual’ environment. This will enable course participants to practise different scenarios and to replay and analyse these scenarios later on. The training centre will also be used by authorities other than the City of Cape Town.
The South African Alderman Jean-Pierre Smith commented: "It would be fantastic if we do not have to reinvent the wheel but will be able to use the knowledge available at the NFI."
The Hague Security Delta
The NFI will be setting up the training centre together with innovative Dutch companies within The Hague Security Delta (HSD) partnership. In HSD, the municipality of The Hague and these companies aim at international cooperation, public-private cooperation, and innovative solutions for complicated security issues. The cooperation between the NFI and South Africa is in line with the international strategy pursued by the NFI and fits in with the broader context of the cooperation between HSD and the South African security sector.
"The cooperation between the NFI and South Africa ties in perfectly with HSD’s aim to promote the export of security concepts and products as well as to strengthen our international trading position in this area", said Joris den Bruinen, deputy manager of HSD. "It is good to see that the eight Dutch companies participating in this initiative will be able to profit from the opportunities presented by this cooperation."
Dutch newspaper AD wrote an article about the initiative. Download the article here.