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Scotland Yard collects DNA in SVG

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Some time last week, British Scotland Yard detectives visited St. Vincent in an effort to collect DNA samples.

An article in the Jamaica Gleaner said that Scotland Yard believes a man of West Indian descent is responsible for raping 34 elderly women between the ages of 68 and 93 in London since 1992. {{more}}

The article further said that police are uncertain where the rapist origins lie in the Caribbean. The victims described the suspect as a light-skinned black man with a south London accent, measuring 5 feet 10 inches (1.78 metres) with an athletic build.

“Initial DNA testing from samples left after the rapes has concluded the offender’s origins probably lie in the Caribbean,” London police said earlier this year.

Six British detectives are now collecting DNA samples through mouth swabs from volunteer police officers in Caribbean countries to narrow down the suspect’s parentage. DNA can determine a person’s ethnic ancestry in broad population groups but current technology cannot determine with reliability whether an individual hails from a specific country.

Trinidad and Tobago was the first stop on their tour with St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Barbados, Guyana and St. Lucia.

But unlike the transparency given to the effort in other Caribbean countries, like Trinidad and Tobago and Jamaica, policing officials and persons with information on the effort here are tightlipped.

Commisioner of Police William Harry said that he was unavailable for comment on the matter while the British High Commissioner Terry Knight was out of office suffering from the flu. His secretary said that only Knight could give information on the detectives’ visit. Knight from his sick bed confirmed that they in fact visited, but said that he was too sick to talk now.