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The Forensic Investigation team at Staffordshire Police is celebrating after being accredited for its work having met the challenging standards of a regulator.
After inspection by the United Kingdom Accreditation Service (UKAS), the Lichfield-based team have been given accreditation in ISO 17020 crime scene examination, showing the regulator’s confidence in the quality of the team’s work.
The inspection took place over four days in Lichfield where the regulator put the team through their paces by getting them to complete a crime scene assessment and ensure it was completed meeting the force’s standard operating procedures.
In the lead up to the inspection, the team were also involved in writing standard operating procedures, completing validation experiments to ensure the vehicles, kit and equipment used are fit for purpose, and completing ongoing competency assessments.
Joanna Hill, Forensic Area Manager at Staffordshire Police, said: “We have achieved accreditation at Lichfield but this is through the hard work of not only the Lichfield team but the wider Forensic department. I am delighted that the hard work of my colleagues has been recognised.
“Accreditation isn’t about achieving something once. It is about creating a culture where standards are consistently maintained and this can only be done if everybody supports the objective. The only way to achieve this is to foster an inclusive-working environment where everybody has a voice and feels valued for their contribution.”
Jaye Shaw, Forensic Examiner at Staffordshire Police, added: "The accreditation process has been a really rewarding experience to be a part of. I’ve witnessed and been a part of all of the hard work everyone in the team has put in to gaining the ISO 17020 accreditation. Having previously worked in laboratories, I understood the need and importance of working to standard operating procedures, the requirement to have stringent anti-contamination measures in place and the impact that this has further along the chain and on the overall judicial process.
“I’m very proud of everyone who has made this possible in achieving accreditation – it’s such a special and important achievement.”