By UK Embassy in Baghdad:
Sometimes red tape is a good thing – not a thing I would normally say or think as a civil servant. Let me explain.
One of the best things UK does in Iraqi Kurdistan is train police forensics teams. We have spent a lot of money on it and we are proud of it, so much so we took Minister Alistair Burt (pictured) to see it on his recent visit. The Minister was impressed and interested. Why support forensics? On the face of it is an odd thing to do. But look at it this way: when a police force anywhere in the world relies on confessions and suspicion all too often the end result is miscarriages of justice and resentment towards the police. We have our own bitter experience of that in the UK not so long ago.
A police force that depends on professional evidence gathering doesn’t need to force confessions or rely on suspicion or hearsay. That is the type of police force that the Kurdistan Regional Government of Iraq in Erbil, and Iraq as a whole, wants. For me, forensic evidence is at the heart of a dispassionate, fair and rigorous system of rule of law.
You may have heard about or seen the TV shows CSI : Miami, Las Vegas or New York, marvelled at the instant technology, been dazzled by the tinted city shots or been punched in the gut by the dialogue and cutaways. Forget it all. It has yet quite to hit the TV screens but let me present to you a new and more rugged stable mate: CSI: Erbil.