Ask me about ‘DNA CSI’…


In order to make people aware of the value of DNA evidence left at a crime scene, we thought that the use of a basic yet catchy acronym would go a long way towards helping people remember what to do or rather what NOT to do, when they come across or are involved in a crime scene. By following the six simple steps contained in the acronym DNA CSI, we believe that we can help educate the SA public and key sectors of the community in being able to assist the police in containing vital DNA evidence left behind after a crime has been committed.

Simply put:

The Background behind DNA CSI

During the course of 2009, The DNA Project funded the production of what it calls the “DNA Awareness Training DVD”, which it aims to utilise to provide critical crime scene awareness training throughout certain sectors of the community as well as the general public in South Africa. The training DVD contains basic information about DNA profiling and the value of DNA evidence, how to contain a crime scene as well as information about the National DNA Database and current legislation which seeks to regulate this area of the law. This information will be of benefit to all first responding crime scene officers and trainees, paramedics, CPF’s and the like, regardless of their role or rank. It will also be useful to the general public as it will enable all these sectors of the community to ensure that any DNA evidence left at the crime scene, is properly contained and preserved for collection by the Crime Scene Examiners, who in turn will be able to use that DNA evidence to provide intelligence and corroborative evidence in crime investigation.


The DNA Project’s core aim for 2010 is to disseminate this information throughout SA as widely as possibly in an effort to create critical DNA Awareness. The rationale behind this objective is that without the proper preservation and collection of valuable DNA evidence left at a crime scene, the opportunity to link the perpetrator to with the crime committed, will be lost.

In summary, the DVD:

  • Provides a simple summary of DNA, the techniques of DNA profiling and the benefits of a National DNA Criminal Intelligence Database in crime investigation.
  • Identifies the responsibilities of the “First Officer Attending” the crime scene with potential DNA evidence.
  • Identifies the potential sources, locations and limitations of DNA evidence.
  • Highlights the importance of the correct handling and packaging of samples from crime scenes, suspects and complainants.
  • Provides information relating to the legislation that regulates the use of DNA as an evidential tool.

The DNA Project has convened a ‘DNA CSI’ Project Team Drafting and we have busy with:

  • drafting documentation to send out to potential recipients of training together with information about the DNA Awareness training being offered.
  • Creating feedback forms, post- and pre-assessment forms and other documentation which will be used during the course of each training session.
  • Developing a Trainers Protocol which sets out precisely what each Trainer must present at each workshop in order to ensure consistency throughout the program.
  • Finding and appointing appropriate trainers in the Western cape, KZN, Gauteng, Freee State and Mpumulanga
  • Co-ordinating a Trainers Workshop on 2 June 2010 where all the Trainers will meet and discuss in detail the Trainers Protocol which has been developed by The DNA Project in order to ensure consistency in workshops.
  • Developing the Information Booklet which will be given out at each training session to recipients of training.
  • Creating a spreadsheet which contains all the potential recipients of training such as province, location, sector, number of branches per sector, contact person and contact details per sector.
  • Co-ordinating training schedules and training workshops with the recipients and trainers.

The information contained on the DVD is going to be available free of charge as will the information booklets and a DVD’s per session. Each organisation/group receiving training would be required to arrange a venue for the training presentation and the trainer would provide the projector, laptop and other training materials. Each workshop will be approximately 1 and a half hours. A minimum of ten and maximum of twenty five people per session is recommended and no more than 4 workshops in any one day are to be given per venue/trainer.

Do you want to get involved?

If you or your community/group/workforce are interested in receiving training or know of any group who would benefit from this information, please contact us via and she will send you the necessary information.

with thanks


5 Responses to “Ask me about ‘DNA CSI’…”

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  2. […] Trainers Workshop which we are hosting in Cape Town tomorrow. This workshop marks the start of our National DNA Awareness Campaign: from Thursday, all of our trainers will be able to host DNA Awareness Training sessions throughout […]