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A Catalyst for Forensic Science…

Forensics

The conversation about forensic science over the past few years has been themed around the absence of strategy. One of the most outspoken voices has been that of Dr Angela Gallop of Forensic Access who doesn’t mince her words in the open letter she penned to The Independent in January this year after their ‘threat to justice” article.

Based on the NAO report on “The Home Office’s oversight of forensic services” this threat is very real.

Despite the rise of a number of private sector providers, a framework for tendering ‘Lots’, and the ‘Insourcing’ of laboratory work by the Police, many think that the lack of strategy and budget cuts have been so severe that it could lead to the jeopardising of criminal cases and raise issues of impartiality and quality standards.

Despite the bad blood, there are some positives. Police forces are joining up with their neighbours and collaborating with local academia to make the most of pooled resources and research. From Dundee to Derby, Liverpool to Portsmouth, Universities are becoming centres of excellence in areas as diverse as forensic archaeology, DNA profiling, and crime scene reconstruction.

The whole area of evidence gathering has been revolutionised by technological advances and the development of game-changing software and toolsets (such as Expert Witness registrant Afentis Forensics’ offerings) which can unravel online, social media and mobile imprints or behaviour.

In this issue you can read the opinions of the main movers and shakers across the board of forensic activity from ‘digital fingerprinting’ to pathology, DNA profiling to fraud investigation.

Expert Witness would like to see more investment in this boundless culture of innovation – the establishment of a catalyst for forensic science to make the most of the UK’s coveted leadership inevery aspect of forensic science and technology.

Whilst this is the main focus of this issue, we still include article of interest to our core community
in the other principal areas of expert witness work.

Des Griffin
Editor