The Government Laboratory's Forensic Science Division (FSD) provides the
criminal justice system in Hong Kong with a wide range of specialist scientific
analytical services. The FSD is divided into two groups. In 2006, it examined a total of
451 crime scenes.
The Criminalistics and Quality Management Group comprises seven sections
covering six major areas of work. The two Biochemical Sciences Sections (BSS) handle
forensic DNA analysis. The number of DNA cases submitted to the BSS to analyse
decreased by about 12 per cent to 4 161 from 4 734 in 2005. This has allowed
resources to be diverted to developing new methodologies in line with world trends.
Besides, the BSS receives regularly DNA data on convicted offenders, suspects and
volunteers from the DNA Database Section, and compare them with outstanding
DNA profiles obtained from unsolved cases. Comparisons are also conducted among
outstanding DNA profiles from different unresolved cases to look for possible
connections. In 2006 there were 158 and 52 pairs of matches in the two types of
comparison, providing important investigative leads for the Police to follow up. The
Parentage Testing Section deals with cases pertaining to right of abode applications.
There were 2 726 cases submitted mainly by the Immigration Department in 2005
but the figure decreased slightly to 2 672 this year. The average mismatched
parentage rate was about four per cent. The Chemical Sciences Section works mainly
on cases requiring chemical analysis and investigated 31 suspicious fires in 2006. The
Physical Sciences Section plays an important role in investigating traffic accidents. In
2006, a traffic accident reconstruction course was conducted with the Police Force
for its officers and laboratory staff. Apart from managing crime scene attendance, the
Scene of Crime and Quality Management Section is also responsible for ensuring
sustained adherence to the prescribed work standards.
The Drugs, Toxicology and Documents Group comprises two Controlled Drugs
Sections, two Forensic Toxicology Sections and the Questioned Documents Section.
There was a significant rise in the number of cases examined by the Controlled Drugs
Sections in 2006, mainly involving ketamine and heroin. The amount of ketamine
cases examined by the sections reached a record high in 2006. The number of
benzodiazepines and cocaine cases also continued to rise.
Urinalysis and toxicological examination is the main area of work of the two
Forensic Toxicology Sections. In 2006, they were invited by the organising committee
of the 15th Interpol International Forensic Science Symposium to present a review on
the progress and future developments in toxicology. This invitation represented an
international recognition of the professional achievement attained by the sections. As
regards the Questioned Documents Section, apart from examining handwritings and
documents, it also provides consultancy and scientific testing services for the printing
of Hong Kong Identity Cards, Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR)
passports and the new HKSAR e-Passports.