The DNA Centre at the Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital says it has the facilities to assist the law enforcement agencies in the detection of crime.
It said its machines could determine the identity of criminals by extracting DNA from saliva, hair, blood, semen or any other bodily fluid left at a crime scene or on the victims by the perpetrators.
The Director of the centre, Dr Bartholomew Dzudzor, told graphic.com.gh that unfortunately, however, officials at the centre had not been trained in the collection of forensic samples from crime scenes, adding that the centre would be willing to partner the police if the police could perform that task.
He explained that during the commission of violent crimes, such as murder, kidnapping, rape, robbery, among other things, minute traces of blood and other bodily fluids, as well as hair, were left at the crime scene.
He said what was needed was well-trained forensic experts to carefully collect those samples, adding that extreme caution was essential to ensure that the samples were not contaminated.
According to him, DNA extracted from the samples would then be compared to the DNA of suspects and if they matched, the suspects could then be charged with the crime.
“DNA may point at an individual and yet he or she may not be the perpetrator of the crime only if he or she was a homozygous (identical) twin,” he said, adding that homozygous twins were formed from the same egg and, therefore, had similar DNA.
“Even if he or she is a twin, the police could easily establish where they were at the time the crime was committed and, thereby, establish which of them committed the crime,” he noted.
Dr Dzudzor said it would have been easier if the country had a DNA database or if the police had DNA profiles of people who lived close to crime scenes.
He said there was the need for the police to be adequately trained in forensic science and for the establishment of a dedicated forensic unit for the Police Service.
Additionally, he said, there was the need to train personnel at the DNA Centre at Korle-Bu to take forensic samples.
He called for the creation of a DNA data bank for criminals and drug dealers and explained that since some criminals committed crimes persistently, it would be wise to extract DNA from them and store it at a particular point to make for easy identification if convicted criminals committed the same or other crimes.
He said the developed world was way ahead of Ghana in solving crime because of the use of scientific methods and prodded decision-makers to move along the same line.
He said providing a DNA database for Ghana through legislation would be an ideal move, but he was quick to add that it would be very costly. “DNA profiles of 25 million Ghanaians will be very expensive, ” Dr Dzudzor added.