Today's Big Stories

'Saps fingerprint database failing to boost crime forensics'

The criminal records database used by the South African Police Services (Saps) is not sufficient enough a system to convict criminal suspects.

This is according to Dr Johan Burger, Senior Researcher at the Institute of Security Studies' (ISS) Crime and Justice Programme.

Saps' criminal records database only identifies the fingerprints of suspects who have been convicted before, making a great deal of evidence futile in many cases.

Burger says that despite having legal access to several other databases, including the Department of Home Affairs since 2013, Saps are not effectively identifying and charging criminal suspects.

They have access to other databases through the The Criminal Law (Forensic Procedures) Amendment Act 2010. But they have not taken advantage of these resources and still rely on their criminal records database, which only shows existing criminal offenders.

Dr Johan Burger, Senior Researcher at ISS

Listen to the full conversation from CapeTalk's Breakfast with Kieno Kammies:

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