The DNA Project’s innovative activation at Cape Town Station has drawn attention to the issue of preservation of crime scenes and DNA as a means of fighting crime. The activation followed the creation of a powerful television commercial, called ‘The Cigarette that saves lives’ , that was flighted on Top TV last year, and DSTV and MNET in 2012.
On a morning in May, FoxP2 and the DNA Project put into action a concept designed to show the loss and damage that first-on crime scene responders as well as the general public can effect to evidence left at a crime scene.
The activation consisted of a large 8m x 6m sand box filled with tiny stones of various colours depicting a mug shot of a convict holding up an ID board.
This box was placed in the busy open hall area of the Cape Town Metrorail station. Commuters were encouraged to walk over the box, thus blurring the mug shot and making it increasingly difficult to see the convicts’ face. The idea got the public involved in demonstrating how disturbing a crime scene can prevent criminals from being identified.
Commuters walking over the box and disturbing the image was captured using time-lapse video. This was then edited into a viral for use in a campaign over the social media network to spread awareness.
The DNA Project is a registered non-proﬁt, public beneﬁt organisation that recognises the critical importance of DNA evidence in the resolution of crime. It is committed to advancing justice through the expanded use of DNA evidence in conjunction with a national DNA criminal intelligence database, also known as a ‘National DNA Database’. The DNA Project hopes that its efforts will translate into the comprehensive use of DNA analysis for crime detection and prevention in South Africa.