S.A.P.S. EVIDENCE COLLECTION KITS – MEDICAL
Few other criminal offences require as extensive an examination and collection of evidence as a sexual assault. Apart from an occasional assault case, no other crime collects as much evidence from a living person.
The body of the patient could possibly contain many physical clues. As a Medical practitioner, your contribution is a key success factor in ensuring that the forensic evidence is correctly collected that can in turn ultimately lead to the prosecution of the perpetrator or the exoneration of the wrongly accused.
In addition to the location where the sexual assault occurred, the patient (victim) is an important crime scene. With the advances in DNA evidence collection, the patient may in fact be the most important crime scene in a sexual assault investigation. It is thus important that you take every step possible to ensure that the medical evidence is not missed or lost, so that ‘chain of custody’ is kept intact.
This group of Manta Forensic Kits, supplied to medical facilities across South Africxa, are specifically produced for the Forensic Unit of the South African Police Services for collection of forensic evidence.
Evidence collection from sexually assaulted patients vary greatly from patient to patient and often depend on the type of assault and the level of violence associated with the attack. In some cases it may be adequate to simply collect the perpetrators DNA from the genital area of your patient. In this case you would only require a D1 – Adult Sexual Assault Evidence Collection Kit or the D7 kit if your patient is younger than 12 years old.
However, you may feel it’s necessary to do a far more in-depth search and examination of your patient by using additional kits such as, D2 which is used to collect evidence that may be on your patient’s body or to send her panties to the SAPS Forensic Unit for analysis.
Make use of the D5 kit if you suspect semen, saliva or blood may be spread over more of her clothing than just on her panties.
Either you, or the investigating officer need to quickly assess the situation and ensure that you have the necessary kits on-hand before you start the examination of your patient.
See the kits below to understand what is being made available to medical practitioners in the way of evidence collection kits.
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The kit is intended to collect the perpetrators DNA evidence from the ano-genital area of your patient. It also facilitates the collection of your patient’s panties, tampon or sanitary pad.
This kit has everything required to collect DNA evidence from your patient’s body. This includes swabbing and/or scraping for the perpetrators blood, semen and/or saliva over the full body. Pointed swabs for swabbing under the fingernails and a comb for combing through both pubic and scalp hair in the search for foreign hairs, fibers, blood or semen crusts and debris.
Human hair, both pubic and scalp hair, as long as it includes the hair follicle, is a good source for the patients DNA which forensically can be vitally important to the case. This D3 kit is specific to the collection of good reference hair samples.
This clothing collection kit is for the collection of all or some of the patients clothing, and then sent off for testing and DNA analysis for potential evidence from the perpetrator.
This D6 kit is almost exclusively used by pathologists. This kit is for the collection of body tissue from a deceased body for DNA analysis, often used for proof of identity.
The D7 kit is to be used when the patient of sexual assault is younger than 12 years old, to collect the perpetrators DNA evidence from the ano-genital area of your young patient. In addition to the normal cotton swabs is a thin aluminum shafted swab that can be inserted through the hymen to collect internal genital samples.
This DB kit is specifically designed for collecting Buccal cells from an individual’s mouth saliva and transfers the collected sample onto a sterile FTA card for laboratory analysis, resulting in DNA identification.
PMD1 Deceased Sexual Assault Evidence Collection Kit
The PMD1 kit is intended to collect the perpetrator’s DNA evidence from the ano-genital area of a deceased individual. It also facilitates the collection of your patient’s panties, tampon or sanitary pad.
PMD2 Deceased Reference Blood Sample Evidence Collection Kit
The PMD2 kit is intended to collect reference blood samples from a deceased individual.
Blood Alcohol Collection Kit
The Blood Alcohol kit is intended to collect a blood sample from an individual to determination intoxication.