Modern Forensic Training Laboratory Opens Doors with Swiss Support

12 Dec 2018

A state-of-the-art training forensic laboratory will be operating at Academy of the Ministry of Interior with a large capacity and modern equipment, which has been supported by the Swiss government.

The Laboratory will be inaugurated on 13 December 2018, Thursday, by Minister of Interior Mladen Marinov and Swiss Professor Pierre Margot, a world-renowned specialist in forensic sciences.

Modelled after the top training centers in Europe, the laboratory has all tools required for thorough forensic investigations in compliance with the international best practices. It is established under the five-year Swiss-funded project “Capacity building of forensic experts”, which main aim is to modernize the forensic investigations in Bulgaria. Part of the Thematic Fund Security of the Bulgarian-Swiss Contribution Programme, the project has a budget of nearly 1,2 million Swiss francs, of which 85 % is the Swiss contribution.

With an internationally accepted accreditation, the DNA analyses of the Laboratory are accepted today in any court in Europe and across the world. The Lab equipment, in particular the DNA analysis capacity, matches the increased demands by police in such type of investigations. The capacity of ballistic analysis has been upgraded with powerful comparative microscopes. The 4-year university-level forensic training curriculum of the Police Academy has been modernized with the support of a University of Lausanne team. Two new forensic manuals are currently in use for the specialized trainings of more than 120 students at the Academy who will graduate in 2019 with a university degree in forensic studies.

This project is closely linked to another Swiss-funded project, implemented by the Police Academy, with a focus on the efforts to reach European policing standards that fully respect the rule of law and the human rights. With Swiss experience, a new modern polygon for practice-oriented and simulation-based training is operational since April.  Supported by experts of the Police Academy of Savatan, a new training manual on police duties carried out with respect to human rights was designed for the Bulgarian Academy’s curriculum.

In total 11 projects are funded within the framework of the Thematic Fund Security of the Programme, to which the Swiss Government contributes 9,8 million Swiss francs. Over the period of five years the Fund Security has proven to be an effective and efficient tool for supporting Bulgaria in the increase of the capacity of institutions in the field of combatting organized crime.

Cooperation between both countries covers several interlinked security-related areas, such as police collaboration, joint investigation teams, judicial reform, human rights, combatting organized crime as well as fighting against human trafficking. Earlier this year, Bulgaria and Switzerland signed a bilateral agreement on police cooperation.