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Staffordshire Police’s Forensic Investigation Team is celebrating being recommended for the highest possible accreditation for its work after meeting the challenging standards of a regulator.
After inspection by the United Kingdom Accreditation Service (UKAS), the Lichfield-based team have been recommended for accreditation in ISO 17020 crime scene examination, showing the regulator’s confidence in the quality of the team’s work.
This means that if you’re a victim of crime – you can be assured that the forensic team deployed to help identify those responsible is one of the most effective in the UK.
Adam Dodkins, Forensic Investigation Manager, explains: “If you’re an unfortunate victim of a burglary, for example, a forensic investigator would attend as part of the police response to carry out a forensic examination of the scene, which could include the identification and recovery of evidence such as fingerprint, DNA and footwear marks.
“This accreditation recognises that the work of the team sent out to your house is first class and that they are using all their specialist training and knowledge, to identify offenders as part of the criminal justice process.”
The recognition has been made all the more significant after the independent regulator, UKAS, were so impressed by the team that they recommended the accreditation after just one inspection.
“This process was started several years ago and even in spite of most the recent challenges and circumstances facing everyone the team has risen to the accreditation challenge brilliantly,” Adam added.
Head of Forensics, Tim Lee, said: “Ultimately, this accreditation means that we and victims of crime can trust entirely in the integrity of the evidence we gather at crime scenes.
“It acknowledges the hard work and dedication of the team and highlights the level of professional excellence, competencies and diligence in delivering a quality service at scenes to support investigations.”
The accreditation also takes into account the specialist vehicles and equipment within the forensic investigation arsenal that are used on a daily basis to investigate crime for the people of Staffordshire.
This is the first big step in the accreditation process for forensic investigation and working closely with the quality services team they are setting their sights on meeting the national requirements and legislation set by the Forensic Science Regulator.
Matt Bailey, who is a Forensic Area Manager within the team, added: “For us, this has ratified our efforts and acknowledged how hard the team have all worked in difficult circumstances to maintain and improve best practice.”
Detective Chief Superintendent Jav Oomer, Head of Investigations at Staffordshire Police, said: “I am delighted that we have been recommended for this ISO accreditation.
“This demonstrates the hard work and professional approach taken by the Forensics Department in Staffordshire, to ensure we provide the best quality service to our communities.”
Temporary Chief Constable, Emma Barnett, said: “Achieving this accreditation is testament to the hard work of the forensics team and should give confidence to the people of Staffordshire that the evidence they gather at crime scenes is the best possible and is used effectively to solve crime and secure criminal convictions.
“I’m very proud of everyone who has made this possible – it’s such a special and important achievement – and even more so during the challenging 18 months we’ve all experienced in the pandemic.”