Supporting collaboration, knowledge sharing and delivery of research across the domain of Drugs and Toxicology.

The research group members are UK specialists, academics and practitioners.

Key themes across all research groups are identified below;

  • Foundational Science Research (underpin Forensic applications,)
  • Effectiveness studies on large scale across institution (best methods)
  • Education of the current Science and Technology
  • Standardisation of data sets (comparison)
  • Initialise a data repository access (across disciplines)
  • Identify new technologies across sectors that could apply to forensic environments (Horizon scanning)

Key objectives of the research group are:

  • Improve operational effectiveness through improved information sharing, cross-border and cross-organisational collaboration in research, linking the wider forensic community to research areas outside of the discipline.
  • Enable areas of specific research strength to work together.
  • Support and contribute to the FCN Research and Development Strategy.
  • Encourage and coordinate research salient to operational requirement.
  • Support project coordination and idea development in collaboration with FCN Quality validation requirements.
  •  Improving the transition from research concept to market and / or operational implementation
  • Opportunities to seek collaborative research funding bids.
  • Assure student and post graduate research is shared via the COP repository
  • Disseminate research via the FCN Newsletter (keeping the forensic communities updated), or annual events, webinars, symposiums etc.
  • Engagement with both national and international forensic specialists.

Group Chair: Dr Carolyn Lovell

Carolyn has significant experience working within operational police forensic units, predominantly within crime scene investigation. Since joining the police in 1995 Carolyn has had a varied career including fingerprint enhancement, DVI, crime scene management and coordination and, prior to joining the FCN, was part of the senior leadership team within a police force forensic service. Carolyn has a master’s in forensic Archaeology and has recently completed her Doctorate focused on the investigation of sexual offences. Carolyn is an honorary lecturer at the University of Portsmouth and supports and supervises student research.

Suggested areas for research which have been collated via FSR, Practitioner/academic engagement.

This area of forensic science remains under significant demand for specialist toxicologists and drug services in order to support the criminal justice system. Key areas for continued research include;

  • Analysis and detection of psychoactive drugs
  • Development of portable evidential instrumentation to examine drug seizures
  • GBL Screening tools/instruments/methods
  • Synthetic Cannabinoid Receptor Agonist (SCRA) Screening tools/instruments/methods
  • Cannabis edibles screening tools/instruments/methods
  • Reliable screening kits for selected drugs
  • Screening mechanisms for drugs for use within the custody setting beyond established capability.
  • Development of combined technologies to support corroborative testing.
  • Development of roadside drug analysis for evidential purposes
  • Technology to deliver live/real time trend/intelligent analysis (cloud based)
  • Evaluation studies of the current technologies of use within the field and development of future capabilities, against emerging trends.

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