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Today, Alexander Bastrykin, the Chairman of the Investigative Committee of the Russian Federation, held a meeting on development of the Forensics Centre of the Investigative Committee of Russia. The meeting was attended by Igor Krasnov, the Deputy Chairman of the Investigative Committee of Russia, the Chief and officers of the Main Forensics Directorate (Forensics Centre), Chiefs of other units of the Committee, and the Chief of the Moscow Regional Investigations Directorate.
Sigmund Lozhis, the Head of the Main Forensics Directorate, delivered a report in accordance with the agenda. He reported on results of the Forensics Centre of the Investigative Committee of Russia for the first 9 months of 2018 and spoke about its goals for the next years.
The Forensics Centre was founded in 2017 on the basis of the Main Forensics Directorate. The emphasis is being placed on its priority, that is forensic and expert support of prompt and qualified investigation into grave and especially grave offences. For the current period of 2018, forensic investigators have made over 630 field visits to provide practical assistance, have examined over 1,200 probes into missing citizens, into discoveries of bodies with no explicit signs of death, and into sexual offences, including those against minors. All this work resulted in further improvement of reported indicators of the Investigative Committee activities. Thus, for 9 months of 2018, murder clearance reached 94.7%, clearance of probes into intentional inflictions of a grave injury entailing death of a victim reached 97.2% and rape clearance reached 98.8%. In 2018, experts of the Investigative Committee of Russia carried out over 23,000 examinations, including over 2,000 on the basis of the Main Forensics Directorate, those include molecular-genetic, computer forensics, information analysis, phonetic-acoustic, psychophysiological and other examinations. This year, a department of forensic medicine will be added to the Main Forensics Directorate structure to carry out examinations for probes into medical errors. Regional departments of the Main Forensics Directorate are being gradually created to ensure timely arrival of forensic specialists to crime scenes for non-obvious and high-profile probes and to organize a qualitative first stage of investigation. Forensics Centre is developing digital forensics as a non-expert activity along with traditional forms and methods of forensic support. In H1 alone, forensic experts took part in over 2,000 examinations of electronic devices. Among the inspected devices, there were computers, laptops, tablets, smartphones, and portable data storage devices. In order to obtain necessary information promptly, the Main Forensics Directorate officials collaborate with Russian Ministry of Internal Affairs, Interpol, Russian Federal Revenue Service, Pension Fund of Russian Federation, Transport Ministry, Federal Aviation and Federal Transport Ministry.
Forensics Centre creation gave momentum to new tendencies in supplying of forensics departments with forensic and special equipment. Following a route of import substitution, the agency uses about 60% of domestically produced forensic equipment. Research and Development Directorate officials in collaboration with Forensic Technology Directorate officials and Department of geophysical methods of the Earth's crust studies of the Moscow State University Faculty of Geology are studying possibilities of use of electro tomography based search equipment for recovering of clandestine graves of corpses. During last several months of the Research and Development Directorate work its officials took part in scientific conferences, published their scientific articles and prepared materials for a "Forensics" textbook along with Moscow Academy of the Investigative Committee of Russia. Staff psychologists also do a lot of work to take part in the process of crime solving. Their main function is to provide practical assistance for specific probes using practical psychology methods and also to secure rights of minors involved in criminal procedures.
The concept of the Investigative Committee forensics activity development includes implementing measures for improvement of mechanisms of identification and putting into practice of new methodical developments, scientific survey results and expert practice positive results focused on tactics and methodical features of investigation of crimes falling within Investigative Committee jurisdiction; organizing of new types of examinations demanded by investigative practice in forensics divisions of the Investigative Committee of Russia; empowering of chiefs of forensics departments and forensics investigators to carry out the very first stages of preliminary investigation on their own; need for such service in military investigations units of the Investigative Committee, etc.
Summarizing the meeting, Alexander Bastrykin set a number of goals for further development of forensic support of investigation. Chairman of the Investigative Committee of Russia underlined that it's necessary to develop and implement new domestic forensic equipment in collaboration with research institutes, to train young personnel and to involve highly qualified IT specialists in the activities of the Committee. He also pointed out necessity of psychology and psychiatry knowledge implementation to establish motives for commission of crimes and to identify and study negative tendencies of modern society that facilitate the crimes. The event was closed by an announcement of Decree of the President of Russian Federation under which Sigmund Lozhis, the Head of the Main Forensics Directorate (Forensics Centre), and Rostislav Rassokhov, Acting Head of the Main Directorate on Major Crimes Investigation, were awarded the Order of Honour. A number of outstanding forensic investigators were granted ministerial awards on behalf of the Chairman of the Investigative Committee of Russia.