Police Minister Michael Ferguson has lashed out at the Community and Public Sector Union for misleading the public over industrial action he says is putting Tasmanian lives at risk.
Forensic Science Services Tasmania staff have been withholding the release of routine reports on test results for minor crimes to Tasmania Police since November 6.
Mr Ferguson said as of Friday November 23, 175 reports had been withheld from police, including 50 involving individuals linked to crimes and 23 containing useful results for a police investigator.
“My clear advice from police is that they cannot get on with their job of catching criminals because of this industrial action,” he said.
“CPSU is either misunderstanding the process of how DNA sampling is undertaken, or blatantly misleading the public by saying there are safeguards in place.
“I’m advised normal processes involve a crime scene sample being sent to FSST, where they are processed and a report is returned with details of the analysis.
“Until this report is returned, the investigating officer does not know whether a match to a person on the DNA database has been linked from the scene sample.”
However CPSU secretary Tom Lynch said the industrial action only impacted minor crimes and that Tasmania Police could still access the data it required by contacting forensic services.
“I think what the minister should be focusing on is trying to find a resolution to the industrial action,” he said.
“The government provoked this pay dispute. It was clear a long time ago that 2 per cent would not be acceptable.
“Unfortunately when public sector workers take action like this, there is going to be some impact on the community.
“But we know the work our members do is valued.”
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