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FCN secures £210,000 research funding for fibres, DNA and data

FCN’s research and development team has secured £210,000 to take forward three research projects for the benefit of policing and the forensic community.

The projects will be funded through the government’s Science, Technology, Analysis and Research (STAR) grants. FCN’s R&D Manager Carolyn Lovell led the application process, working with colleagues from the Home Office and across the forensic community on the successful bids.

The first project will see £20,000 invested in a step to develop a predictive model for fibre transfer in criminal cases. This is a short-term project anticipated to commence in summer 2021. 

Carolyn said: 

"Fibres remain an important evidence type, although we know is not always the first on the list as part of the initial forensic strategy. However, as seen in the recent case portrayed on ITVs 'Pembrokeshire Murders' this evidence type remains relevant especially for those cold case reviews and subsequent examinations and therefore shouldn’t be dismissed. The development of a predictive model will be another step forward in support of this."

The second project, costing £50,000, is an initial technical feasibility assessment for the Science and Technology Facilities Council to host a ‘Digital Forensic Artificial Data repository’ and develop a blueprint for implementation for 2021. This could present broader opportunities for other forensic science disciplines as it develops further.

Finally, £140,000 in funding will begin the development of a Y-STR database as part of the services provided by the National DNA Database. This will be a phased approach starting in 2021, with the first step involving the kits design, production and collection of 10,000 buccal swabs. Further funding will be then sought to finalise the database.

In August, we revealed that FCN secured £110,000 in R&D funding for drug violence, county lines and biosensors research - meaning a total of £320,000 new funding for forensics which may not have otherwise been available to policing.

Carolyn added: 

"Innovation and collaboration are crucial to the development of forensic science and exciting projects like these will lead to better criminal justice outcomes for victims. I'm very proud to be in a position to help them gain the funding they need. I have a number of research groups always seeking practitioner engagement and will be planning some future events. If you’re interested please get in touch." 

To get involved with FCN's research group or be part of our research projects, please contact us.