Qatar has become the first country in the Middle East to set up a human body odour bank to trace criminals.
The innovative concept, that has already been introduced in a few countries including China, allows the storage of human body odour that can help police dogs in identifying criminals.
The odour bank has been set up by the Ministry of Interior at the new building of the Police Canine Section of its Criminal Evidences and Information Department (CEID) on the Salwa Road, which was officially opened on Tuesday.
“For the first time in the Middle East, an odour bank has been set up in the section to benefit from canines strong sense of smell. Odours of the culprits are stored here in specially prepared bottles to match them with odours captured from crime scenes using the latest technology,” said Brigadier Abdul Azeez Abdullah Al Ansari, director of the Logistics Department of the Ministry, on the sidelines.
Similar to DNA and fingerprints, the genetic body smell varies from person to person and is unlikely to go from the crime spot, which makes it a decisive clue in criminal detection.
The smell left by criminals at the scene of crime has been collected to match them with stored samples of the body odour of criminals who have already been caught. Well-trained police dogs are used for matching the smell.
Special smell-absorbing material including carbon pieces or yarns, are used to collect the samples. After “soaking” up scents, they are sealed in special bottles frozen at -18 degree Celsius in the scent bank, according to experts.
The technology is still in the developing stage and research is on to develop methods to effectively store the scents for longer periods and improve the performance of the police dogs in matching the samples.
Besides the odour bank, the new building of the Canine Section includes dog pens, advanced veterinary clinic, laboratory, pharmacy, among other facilities.
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