Governments unveils forensics hub

Premier Daniel Andrews announced a forensic hub would be built in the Latrobe Valley during a press conference at Morwell Police Station in February last year. file photograph

Premier Daniel Andrews announced a forensic hub would be built in the Latrobe Valley during a press conference at Morwell Police Station in February last year. file photograph

Morwell will be home to a new specialist forensic hub which is expected to give detectives faster access to information at major crime scenes.

Minister for Police Lisa Neville and member for Eastern Victoria Harriet Shing yesterday announced the forensic hub would be built on Saskia Way, Morwell.

The state government previously contributed $11.6 million for two regional hubs in the Latrobe Valley and Ballarat.

It means police in Gippsland will not have to travel to Melbourne to test evidence and forensic material.

It follows the announcement of three new $2 million mobile specialist forensic vehicles that can be deployed to regional areas across the state and will help police analyse forensic material at crime scenes or bushfires.

The new vehicles will help police analyse chemical and biological evidence, process CCTV footage and fingerprints, examine burnt or damaged documents and provide a command centre on the ground.

Previously, evidence needed to be taken from crime scenes and transported back to the forensic headquarters in Macleod before they were tested, slowing down investigations.

The new Morwell hub, which will be completed by mid-2019, will allow police to process evidence collected from crime scenes locally, further freeing up police time and resources.

The construction of the hub will also bring construction jobs to the local community as well as 11 ongoing forensic officer jobs.

Member for Eastern Victoria Harriet Shing said construction of the project would go to tender in the coming weeks.

"Regional police should not have to travel to Melbourne to access the services they need to do their jobs - this facility will boost jobs locally, improve technology and help to cut down investigation time for police officers."

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