SDPD says it has roughly 2,400 sexual-assault kits that haven’t been sent to the crime lab for testing. The department contends its approach is smarter and more efficient: Do the investigative work first to determine whether the kit will help the case.
It’s been nearly two years since a state audit found that less than half of all rape kits at three California law enforcement agencies were actually analyzed.
Since then, two of the agencies – the Oakland and Sacramento police departments – have made it a practice to test all sexual assault kits. The third agency examined in the audit, the San Diego Police Department, is doubling down on its decision to leave many kits untested.
SDPD said it has roughly 2,400 sexual-assault kits that haven’t been sent to the crime lab for testing.
The 2014 audit, a response to scrutiny over why so many kits were never analyzed as evidence, underscored how little was known about why some sexual assault kits were never tested while others were — and, more important, whether testing more kits would help solve more crimes.
“Analysis of sexual assault evidence kits can be instrumental in furthering the investigations of sexual assaults, especially if the analysis of this evidence occurs within two years of the date of the offense,” the audit found, though “the extent to which analyzing more kits would improve arrest and conviction rates is uncertain.”