Forensic Strategy Development
Forensic science has long made a vital contribution to criminal investigations. Its strategic use by the police needs to be properly managed and organised if it is to make an efficient as well as effective contribution to the detection and prevention of crime.
SFS provides the means whereby those intending to invest in the future and introduce or develop their forensic capacity or enter the commercial market for forensic science, can obtain high level, strategic advice to ensure that the financial commitment is realised as improvements in their service provision. SFS can provide a strategic study which may be followed up by project implementation, procurement and training.
SFS provides the tools to identify impartially current good practice and carry out a gap analysis at each stage of the forensic process. Strategic analysis will identify the relationships between patterns of crime and use of available and future forensic resources.
Project Planning and Management
SFS provides project planning and management resource to implement strategic forensic developments, such as:
Introduction of in-force scientific capability
Development and introduction of procurement strategies for forensic science services
Providing business case and project documentation to obtain funding (e.g. from EU Law Enforcement Programmes)
Quality Systems Investigation
As the contribution that forensic science makes to investigations becomes more crucial, forensic science and its practitioners are being increasingly closely scrutinised by the courts. This scrutiny, in the form of detailed examination of practices, procedures and quality control, seeks to cast doubt on the acceptability of forensic evidence in individual cases. Inadequate quality management within the forensic process can lead to wrongful verdicts. Experience has shown that the delivery of robust forensic science investigations is reliant upon a documented, audited and well managed Quality Management System. Without such a system the considerable investment in scientific investigation may be misdirected.
SFS provides impartial and independent investigation of quality systems within the forensic science field. This can be proactive – to identify inherent weaknesses in existing quality systems, or provide tools such as risk models to minimise occurrence of quality failure; or reactive – to investigate scientific quality failures that have already occurred, or identify whether or not previous remedial actions have been successful.
Forensic Science Quality Regulation
The appointment in 2008 of a Forensic Science Quality Regulator, directly as a result of Mike's work for the Home Office, will have far reaching consequences for police services and forensic science providers. National industry standards for forensic science are being developed and accreditation to these standards for both police and forensic science providers is being encouraged. The quality standards will apply to providers, practitioners and methods.
SFS provides advice, support, planning and resource to implement high-level regulatory requirements. This includes:
Introduction of Quality Management Systems
Preparation of Quality Manuals and documentation
Preparation for national or international accreditation for forensic science processes