A GAME changing forensic hub has opened at Ballarat West Police Station, boosting evidence gathering for police across the whole western district of Victoria.
The scientific laboratory officially had its first day on Wednesday, with 14 staff on site to assist police in apprehending offenders.
Ballarat Police acting Superintendent Dan Davison said the new hub, one of two to open across the state - the other being in Morwell - will save hours and resources for officers.
"Prior to today members of Victoria Police, if they had forensic exhibits that needed to be examined have had to travel across the state down to McLeod," Superintendent Davison said.
"The ability for our members to bring their exhibits here to Ballarat West and have them here is a significant boost for the community, because what it does it allows our members to come here and that means they have more time to back out on the street and actually being a front line officer rather than a courier of their exhibits.
"The other part that is great for community safety is the fact that we will now have quicker turnaround rates in relation to identifying offenders and then we can put them in front of a court a whole lot quicker."
The Morwell site is expected to open within a fortnight.
Manager of Victoria Police's case management group Steven Fowler said it offered new techniques to determining evidence.
"This is a combination of two years of work which was funding through a state government initiative," Mr Fowler said.
"Traditionally, the way we've done evidence recovery is if something required fingers prints and DNA, then that item has initially gone to fingerprinting before being handed over to biology.,
"What we've established with the forensic experts at this hub is that they are multi-skilled, so one individual will be able to both or multiple disciplines."
Victoria Police forensic services executive Director Rebecca Kogios said the department was thrilled to extend its capabilities.
"The state-of-the-art facility will deliver high quality forensic services to regional communities with the aim of fast-tracking investigations," Ms Kogios said.
"The Regional Forensic Hub will house scientific equipment and specialist staff, trained to perform multi-disciplinary evidence recovery across a range of biological, chemical, digital, botanical and fingerprint specialties."
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